Yesterday saw Sir Steve Redgrave, who has Type 2 diabetes, launch Diabetes UK’s charity partnership with Specsavers Opticians.
Specsavers has pledged to raise up to £100,000 to help fund Diabetes UK’s vital work, including projects around retinopathy – the leading cause of blindness in the UK’s working-age population. If retinopathy is discovered early enough and treated adequately, blindness can be prevented in 90 per cent of cases.
Sarah Caltieri, 27, lost her sight through diabetic retinopathy. At the launch she gave a moving account of her journey, from being diagnosed with retinopathy to adjusting to life without her sight.
Sarah’s story was especially poignant in light of recent statistics which revealed that 26 per cent of youngsters with diabetes had not been screened for retinopathy in the last year.
"Diabetes UK is extremely pleased to be working with Specsavers," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.
"Research around retinal screening is essential to stop people’s lives being devastated by retinopathy."
Diabetes UK recommends that everyone with diabetes has regular routine sight tests as part of their general diabetes care. In addition, we would like to see 100 per cent of people with diabetes receiving free annual retinal screening with a digital camera across the country.