Cora Cutmore died on her 93rd birthday in 2016, but her legacy lives on through the work of the Bond University CJCRM. “Apart from my two daughters, this is the important thing in my life,” declared Janet Price, whose mother also suffered from AMD. “I was charged with a very special project, and that was to find a worthy recipient for my aunt's lifelong frugality. A woman who used the same tea bag three times to save money. “And this was the project that my cousin and I, two of her most trusted relatives, came up with. “And we have had not one regret.” The team at The Clem Jones Centre for Regenerative Medicine.
On the day we visited Janet Price to hear the story of her aunt’s life, she had just returned home from doing the rounds as a volunteer for meals on wheels. The retired school principal met us at the door of her Daisy Hill home determined to make her voice heard. “My aim today is to increase awareness of macular degeneration because no one knows much about it, because it’s not fashionable,” she said.
“If we go blind they think, well, she's old and she's had a good life. “That's kind of the feeling we're all getting, all my age group know someone with AMD. “And my friend this morning, we're driving around the different houses for the elderly and she said, ‘No one cares about us anymore. It's always the young, glamorous sicknesses that are hitting the newspapers.
“They don't see the old person who now can't read, can't watch TV, who can't find a number on their phone, can't garden, they can't crochet for the grandchildren. “They can’t even babysit because they can't be trusted with the grandchildren in their house. “It is that impact on families that makes this cause so important.”
CEO Peter Johnstone considered Dr Jones a close friend and mentor and admits he has a personal investment in the work being undertaken at Bond. “Clem Jones had macular degeneration and it was very debilitating for him,” he said.
“He was a voracious reader, a studier of media who read books on a daily basis and AMD really stopped all that enjoyment for him. "So one of his wishes was to see a cure for macular degeneration.’’
Mr Johnstone said he and the staff and board of the Clem Jones Foundation celebrated the success of the Bond research team and were confident the team were on the path to finding a treatment for blindness.
“It's a moonshot and we're proud to be a part of that,” he said. “Clem himself would be down there every day, I'm sure. “He'd be inspired by it. He was always inspired by medical researchers in the same way we are.”
Thank you from Bond University
“We're grateful for all of the support that we've had so far,” Dr Limnios said. “And we are grateful for anyone that understands the help that we need and is willing to consider it. “We wouldn't be here without that help.
“We don't take anything for granted and we’re not wasteful because we care about the money. “Every dollar counts to us, and we know that it comes because people want to help us get to a solution.”
Roma, another AMD patient, said: “(A cure) would be brilliant for many, many reasons - not because I could see better and not have to have injections and all of that - but it would be so good for humanity.”