A Christmas banner background in red. There are two images of Cumhall - on the left he is smiling. On the right he is with his mother.

This Christmas, help keep a cure in our sights

Your generous Christmas gift to Fighting Blindness ‘In Our Sights’ appeal is an investment in research and a future without sight loss for children – like two-year-old Cumhall from Cork.

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“Fighting Blindness is my organisation of choice because it represents the future. With investment, curing sight could be largely treatable. We want to make sure that the next generation of children doesn’t have to live with incurable sight loss.” – Liadain Murphy

Listen below to Liadain, as she describes why Fighting Blindness means so much to her and her family:

YouTube link to Liadain and Cumhall

Liadain Murphy and Cumhall
Liadain Murphy and Cumhall

CUMHALL’S STORY

Cumhall has a big mop of blonde hair and is as cute as a button. He loves climbing, annoying his baby sister and getting up to mischief. He recently took his very first steps. A special milestone.

But Cumhall isn’t like most other children. He was born with Leber Congenital Amaurosis, a typically inherited eye condition. Cumhall’s mum Liadain says that for all intents and purposes, Cumhall is blind and there is currently no treatment or cure.

Liadain and her husband first turned to Fighting Blindness when Cumhall was just eight months old having heard about the Target 5000 program. Target 5000 is a one-of-a-kind program delivering important clinical and genetic services to people in Ireland living with inherited retinal degeneration (IRD).

Because of Target 5000, Cumhall was able to get an early and precise diagnosis, which made all the difference.

Initially, though, Liadain says their world fell apart.

“No cure or treatment!! I was shocked. I wondered how I would teach Cumhall to potty train or brush his teeth and I worried that he would be lonely as he navigates life in a largely sighted world”. 

RESEARCH HOLDS THE KEY

Cumhall
Cumhall, from Cork

But through Target 5000 Liadain found out more about all the other research projects Fighting Blindness is funding and she said it gave her family hope.

Ground-breaking research like that run by Professor Jane Farrar at Trinity College whose team has greatly expanded our knowledge of the genes involved in blindness and as a result, has identified potential targets for treatments and cures.

Like Cumhall, there are estimated to be over 272,000 blind and partially sighted people in Ireland.

Fighting Blindness is the leading charity in Ireland investing in research for treatments and a cure, but we need your help.

Any donation, big or small to our ‘In Our Sights’ campaign this Christmas will help us to continue to run life-changing programs and invest in a broad research agenda to find a treatment and cure for sight loss so that children like Cumhall can have hope for a future with sight.

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The difference your support makes:

€150 could help us fund our extensive support group services

€500 could help fund a RetCam to provide life-changing retinal scanners to maternity hospitals.

€1000 could be invested into sight-saving research, giving 272,000 Irish people hope for a cure.

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You can donate instantly online or call us at +353 1 6789 004 from 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Cumhall’s first steps:

Cumhall started to walk at 16 months after months of his parents teaching him in lots of creative ways. Because he has no visual learning it means everything has to be very explicit, verbal and led by touch. ‘Handies Out’ is regularly used, but it worked. Liadain tells us it was a huge sigh of relief when he took those first steps.

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