Community Health Leaders
Last updated: September 2023
In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to cope with macular degeneration every day, MacularDegeneration.net brings you frequent articles, points of view and advice from health leaders and experts.
Current health leaders
Christine Joy Brunson
Christine Joy Brunson is a Pennsylvania Licensed Social Worker, who earned her Bachelors in Social Work at Northern Arizona University. During her undergraduate career she completed an international internship at Cape Town Association for Person with Disabilities (CTAPD) in Cape Town, South Africa. Read more.
Tiffany is a wife and mother of two beautiful children. At the age of 22, and pregnant with her oldest child, she was diagnosed with macular dystrophy. After several years, insurance companies, and specialists later, her diagnosis was finalized at Stargardts Disease. Read more.
Beverly Dame is a retired communications professional now living in southwest Florida. She was diagnosed with Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration in her left eye in July, 2019. She also has major hearing loss and uses two high-tech aids. Read more.
Debbie Havens is a retired 60-year old Grandmother to three, Mother to four, and wife to husband Tim for 35 years. We have lived in the Midwest for over 35 years. Macular Degeneration showed up months after celebrating her 60th birthday. Read more.
After a series of vision challenges over many years, including chronic uveitis and cataracts, Linda was diagnosed with Adult-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in her mid-sixties. She was already very familiar with AMD considering her family history - Her mother was legally blind from dry AMD and a cousin on her father’s side could no longer drive. Read more.
Essence Johnson, OD, FAAO
Dr. Essence Johnson is an “HBCU made,” residency trained, community and correctional health optometrist in Dallas, Texas. She received degrees from Prairie View A&M University and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University, in addition to completing her residency in Ocular Disease at Omni Eye Services of Atlanta. Read more.
Sharon Moore is a semi-retired Registered Nurse. Sharon worked for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as Director over the Diabetes Wellness Center. This program is grant-funded and led to her becoming a grant writer for the Choctaw Nation until her retirement. Read more.
Wendy earned her Bachelor of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her recent working life was spent as a TAFE (technical and further education) Head Teacher of Business in Sydney, NSW. What she enjoyed most in this role was retraining mature-aged students to improve their confidence and skills in order to re-enter the workforce. Read more.
Former health leaders
Katie from the U.K, was diagnosed with Stargardts Macular Dystrophy in September 2017 at the age of 32. The diagnosis was completely out of the blue after a routine eye appointment with her optician, where they picked up the problem and referred Katie to her local hospital. Read more.
Andrea is a mother of two young sons and teaches in the small town her family lives in. She was diagnosed with myopic macular degeneration in 2008 after noticing a small blind spot in her right eye while pregnant with her oldest son. Read more.
At age 62 it was discovered at a routine eye exam for new glasses that I had Age Related Macular Degeneration. I have Wet AMD in one eye and Dry AMD in the other eye. I have received over 60 injections in my Wet AMD eye over the past 8 years. Read more.
Sue LaBar Yohey
In the spring of 2018 Sue retired from her job as a school psychologist. The job had spanned 40 years. Since leaving her “day job” she has concentrated on her “other” job at a local, group, counseling practice. In the group practice Sue specializes in psychological assessment as well as counseling and psychoeducation. Her theoretical framework is dialectic behavior therapy. Read more.
Theresa, a life-long Maryland resident, was diagnosed at 29 with myopic choroidal neovascularization, secondary to pathological myopia - commonly shortened to myopic macular degeneration. Although she's adjusted to monthly retina appointments and can accurately interpret her OCT scans, she admittedly is still squeamish when it's time to be treated with an intraocular injection. Read more.
Linda C. Moore
Linda does not have AMD. She was a long-distance caregiver for her father who had advanced dry AMD/geographic atrophy until his death in 2012. Linda has an increased risk of developing AMD as does her husband because they each had a parent with AMD. Read more.
Jennifer is a scientist, a mom of two teenagers and wife to an Englishman. She is an artist at heart, doing various types of painting and other folk art and crafts. She is learning to play the ukulele and wishes she had more time to try all the things that interest her. Read more.
My name is Jessica and I am from Long Island, New York. I was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease in 2010/2011 when I was 22 years old. Until my diagnosis I never had glasses or any issues with my vision. Read more.
Cora Lyn Sears
Cora Lyn is an active 72 year old divorced mother of two and grandmother of one. She has wet but stable AMD in one eye, and dry with barely noticeable geographic atrophy in the other. After her 11th injection almost a year ago, she is now on a routine of 12 week check ups, knowing it could begin leaking again at any time. Read more.
Rachel is a wife, mom, and health care professional. Her husband, Sam, has Stargardt Disease (a juvenile onset form of macular degeneration). They have been married since 2001 and have raised two children together. Over the last few years Rachel has witnessed Sam become an ambassador of sorts for the low vision community via his YouTube channel The Blind Life. Read more.
Sam was diagnosed in early adolescence with Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration, and was legally blind by his mid-teens. Sam’s first dive into YouTube came in 2012 when he was hired to create content for a mobile technology channel, Mobile Tech Videos 2. Read more.
Too old to be a baby boomer. Hepatitis C advocate since late 1990's. Operate Hepatitis C Association with Sue Simon providing education and linkage to care assistance for people living with hepatitis C. Basic education; engineering with specialty in IT business applications. Retired from financial services industry. Two daughters, 6 grands. Hobbies include showing and raising purebred boxers and woodworking. Read more.
Sandra Williams lives in the Atlanta suburbs. She and her husband of 51 years have two children and five grandchildren. Sandra spent more than 25 years in the medical management field and is now enjoying retirement. Read more.
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