Graham lost his sight about ten years ago to dry age-related macular degeneration. Before his retirement he had been CEO of a large footwear company – hard working and independent, he had travelled across the world on business.
The first thing you feel (when you lose your sight) is ‘Oh God’.” He says, “I got very frustrated at not being able to drive a car or move about on my own and the loss of my independence was very difficult to come to terms with”. He added, “My wife’s life has also changed dramatically due to my vision loss since she now has to act as my ‘eyes’ at all times and cope with day to day problems I would normally have dealt with”.
“Now I don’t have the life I anticipated in my retirement” he says “I can’t play golf now. I love cricket but when I go to Test Matches I can’t see what is happening; I can’t play tennis… It took two to three years to come to terms with my disability”.
How RNIB helps Graham
Graham has always been an avid reader. “I’ve always read one or two books a week as well as scouring the daily newspapers. Reading is knowledge” and when his local low vision service recommended he start using RNIB’s services, he signed up to the Talking Book Service. “I’ve been a member ever since – it is a wonderful service and the Daisy machine from RNIB which reads the books to me is my saviour as it is so easy to use and I would be lost without it.”
“Talking books are a great fill in for me”. He says, “I can’t garden because I can’t use the equipment or I pull up the wrong plants. So what do you do to fill in your days? I can’t sit and gaze at the stars. Talking books fill my day – I am still learning, I find things of interest in even the dullest of books, I find other people’s lives interesting and it takes away some of the frustration”.
“My life would be horrible without talking books”, he says. “How would I find out about things? How would I learn what is happening in the newspapers or in magazines or in the financial world – I wouldn’t be able to find out. It is absolutely imperative for me to know what is happening in the world.”
How you can help
Register for Read for RNIB Day to help us change the story.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0845 345 0054 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).