As 102-year-old Cliff lost his vision through age-related macular degeneration (AMD), he also lost other things he treasured – his driver’s licence, his independence and his ability to read his beloved music.
But that won’t stop him planning a Christmas filled with the sound of the violin. He can’t see the sheet music but more than 90 years after being gifted his violin, he has an astonishing repertoire of music he can play from memory.
Cliff’s son, Daryl, knows that his sight also is at risk. For people like Daryl, having a parent with AMD means a one in two chance of developing the disease.
“About 20 years ago, Dad’s eyesight became problematic. He tried to hide it and pretend everything was alright. But eventually he was diagnosed with AMD.
“From then, his eyesight just slowly got worse. I had to tell him he needed to stop driving. He was quite upset about that, because it took away so much of his independence.
“Dad’s had a very full and interesting life. He was a baker by trade, but also sat on the board of a hospital and was Chairman of the Board of Kaleeya Hospital here in WA. He travelled all over the world, played golf, and, of course, music has always been one of his great loves. He’s played the violin since he was a boy.”
MDFA is determined to invest as much as possible into research projects that could protect people like Daryl from AMD.