The Macular Society is undergoing a monumental change, focusing more on the life-changing effects of macular disease, rather than just promoting the good work of the society. So we teamed up with them to create a film that highlights the impact the disease can have. We both wanted to demonstrate the struggles facing people with macular disease, the importance of keeping a close watch on the health of your eyes and why we should all be aware of the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.
Adapting to a sightless world is one of the greatest challenges any of us can face. The impact on the life of an individual and their loved ones is huge. It leads to a loss of independence and a feeling of helplessness, as well as leaving you unable to do the things we all take for granted – reading, driving, seeing your children’s faces and living a normal life. Many give up hope, feeling that their lives are over.
The film is titled ‘5 Years from the Eyes of a Mum’ and it depicts a true, emotional portrayal of macular disease, highlighting the effect it has, not only on the individual but also on the relationships with those they love most. The film presents point of view (POV) vignettes from the perspective of a mother, as she watches her son grow up, from the age of 11 to 16. However, as the film continues, her vision becomes increasingly disrupted by blurs and blotches growing from the centre of the screen. This gradually affects the way she interacts with her son and their relationship as a whole.
Cathy Yelf, Chief Executive of the Macular Society, says: “People describe losing their sight as being similar to a bereavement and we have seen first hand the impact it can have on their lives. More people are affected by macular disease than they are by Alzheimer’s, yet awareness remains low. With one in three people knowing someone with macular disease we want to continue to raise awareness so we can keep funding vital research, which will one day lead us to a cure.”