Guinea Pig for Eye Injections

In January 2006 I got diagnosed as having wet age-related macular degeneration in my right eye.

Lucentis study selection

No hope except for cold laser and the mix that became known as PreserVision. But before I could get the cold laser, I read on TV and in our metro newspaper about the search for candidates who might fit the Lucentis study that was in stage IIIb. I applied the first week in February was met the criteria as the only one who applied at the time.

I hadn't had any other treatments and was not disqualified. So in March of 2006, I began the first treatment and immediately showed fast-responder results. After just three injections, I was seeing about 20/30 in the right eye. And on June 30, 2006, the FDA approved Lucentis for use with the public.

Over 150 eye injections

My retina specialist was the director of our region for the Lucentis study. He asked me to appear on metro TV with him that night, and I did. Now, it's 16 years later; and I've had over 150 injections in my right eye. That may sound bad, but I still see well, and my left eye is holding good. And I'm one who saw both his dad and mother be legally blind with wet AMD for the last 10 years of their lives.

I became a patient ambassador

Further, my story was good enough that I got asked to become a "patient ambassador" and speak over much of the US to other patients or potential patients or their family members about my story before a retina specialist spoke. I also spoke at a national sales conference twice. I also spoke to the International Global Parenteral Drug Assoc. Mtg. in Colorado Springs.

On a personal note, I was able upon my diagnosis and treatment to share with my younger brother and sister. My brother also got diagnosed with wet-AMD; he was able to get Avastin injections as an off-label treatment. He still sees well too. My sister had dry age-related macular degeneration and she's still holding well with regular checks. May you all do the same or have the response that I did.

~Johnnie Godwin

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