MD Logo

THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Leon


 

Name
Leon Ferns

Born
July 9, 1964

Home
Middelburg, South Africa

Diagnosis
Stargardt disease

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Brown

Age at Diagnosis
23

Acuity
20/80

Treatment
Nil

Prognosis
Will stay the same

Family History
Parents: Unknown. Sister: Suffers from Stargardts, less severe than me. Brother: No diagnosis.

Impact On Your Life
Reluctant to drive, use driver (employee) when on business and wife drives when family travels together. I drive with bioptic on known routes, do not drive at night time whatsoever. I use visual aids as much as I can. Sometimes gets frustrated, but always hopeful and positive.....hate public spaces where I have to read signage. I read less, and with more effort.

Positive Effects
My sense of humour increased dramatically, must have one to overcome embarassing sitiuations! (Like not regognizing family members or close friends....) Made me more resolute to succeed, and to take on challenges. I struggle playing tennis unless background of court is uniform and lighting is good, but I play squash really well...very enjoyable. Play golf, but always with a spotter, as I cannot follow the ball after I've hit it! (Causes many funny moments.)

Adaptations
Large screen TV - (nice excuse for 50" LCD....) - and I sit closer to the screen. I use a very good Bioptic. Use GPS when driving, cannot read street signs even with bioptic. Large screens (above 19") for PC. Use custom font sizing on PC. Use strong magnification reading glasses when type setting is large enough, otherwise I read with bioptic (It has adjustable telescopes). Use a Bierley USB Video Mouse to read really fine print. Intend to purchase more electronic aids, such as book readers and electronic magnifiers.

Employment
I own an engineering design and project managment company, and act as Managing Director responsible for operations. Reading fine print drawings and documents is a large part of my life.

More About Me
Not much more to say....