Published: 17 August, 2012
• I WAS pleased to hear that a partially-sighted north London man is about to take part in a coast-to-coast trek raising funds for RP Fighting Blindness, a national charity supporting people living with retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited eye condition which can eventually lead to blindness.
I was diagnosed with RP at the age of 20, more than 50 years ago.
At that time, very little seemed to be known about the condition, except that there was no treatment and that I would probably go blind some time in middle age.
I was very lucky.
I had a classic form of RP – night blindness as a child, gradual loss of peripheral vision as an adult and I didn’t go completely blind until I was over 60.
So, apart from not driving, I’ve been able to live an active life as a teacher, radio producer and latterly as a media consultant and trainer.
Fifty years ago very little was known about RP.
But in the last 10 years significant progress has been made – in retinal implants, stem cell therapy and gene therapy.
But we’ve still got a long way to go to find effective treatments and an eventual cure.
That is why it’s worth supporting the trekkers walking the 200-mile route from Cumbria to the East Coast.
To find out more about retinitis pigmentosa, about RP Fighting Blindness or about supporting the trekkers, go to www.rpfightingblindness.org.uk or call 01280 821334.
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