14 January 2020
Source: Fight for Sight
Eye research charity Fight for Sight is today launching the ’20 voices for 2020′ campaign, sharing the stories of 20 people whose lives have been impacted by sight loss.
The campaign hopes to raise awareness of the personal impact of sight loss in the UK and the possibilities of science to make a difference.
Fifteen-year-old Rose Roberts is lending her voice to the campaign. Rose was diagnosed with Stargardt macular dystrophy when she was seven years old. Since then, Rose’s eyesight has deteriorated and she no longer has central vision, leaving her severely sight impaired.
Rose said: “When you suffer from an eye condition it’s not only your vision that’s impaired, it’s your ability to live your life as easily as others. Other people don’t realise how much they should treasure their eyesight until something happens to it. Eye research brings hope of new treatments to people with eye conditions.”
Head of Research at Fight for Sight Dr Rubina Ahmed said: “We believe 2020 is the right time for us all to be investing more in new therapies to treat eye conditions, many of which are already stopping sight loss and blindness at clinical trial. If we can close the ‘1 to 20’ research funding gap, we can help so many more people like Rose.”
Currently, only one percent of national research funding is invested in eye research, even though twenty percent of people in the UK will experience serious sight loss or blindness in their lifetime. The prevalence of sight loss is also on the rise – the number of people in Europe with the leading cause of blindness, age-related macular degeneration, is projected to hit 10 million by 2050. Fight for Sight are referring to this as the ‘1 to 20’ funding gap.
The 20 Voices campaign is part of Fight for Sight’s wider 2020 campaign, which will include a major research study showing the economic and personal impact of sight loss. The findings, which are due in July 2020, will be used to lobby decision-makers and funding bodies for a national plan on sight loss that will ensure eye research gets the funding it badly needs.
You can listen to Rose’s story of living with sight loss on the latest episode of Fight for Sight’s podcast Eye Research Matters here – https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/news-and-articles/podcast/
If you want urgent action on blindness in 2020, you can add your voice to the campaign here – https://www.fightforsight.org.uk/jointhefight/
 Source DAE, 2017