Professor Erica Fletcher has no doubt that without funds raised by the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, crucial sight-saving research into devastating eye diseases would simply not get off the ground.
“A great deal of work can be done with a small amount of money provided by donors. Sometimes fundamental research – work that is in the very early stages but is critical to our understanding of macular disease – is not funded because it is seen as a little bit risky.
“I can’t stress how important the research is and how important your donations are in financially supporting our work,” Prof Fletcher said.
Prof Fletcher, of University of Melbourne, has an MDFA Research Grant for her projects on age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“At the moment, there’s no way to predict who will develop AMD, nor to stop the progression of the disease. So, my team is working to develop a blood test that can predict who is at the highest risk of disease progression to late stage AMD. And we’re having some really good results,” Prof Fletcher said.
Another focus is the development of a treatment which uses a person’s own immune system to fight AMD before it causes any loss of vision.
These innovations could be just around the corner – or they could still be years away. Unless researchers like Prof Fletcher have the funds they need, it could take much longer before we will see the benefits of this amazing work.
That’s why your donation is so vital – our research grant program is 100% funded by wonderful supporters like you. We quite simply cannot do it without your help.