Our Story

Fundación Mexicana de Atrofia Girata was inspired by the uncertainty of knowing what could happen to my vision. My name is Graciela Chairez I was born on December 10, 1994. At 6 years old I started with "night blindness" which I didn't know how to communicate to my parents in such a way that they understood and believed me. At age 13 I perceived that my peripheral vision was decreasing, I went to the optometrist to adjust the graduation of my lenses and clinically detected "my inability to detect objects on the sides."


My parents and I decided to go to a retina doctor who diagnosed me at 14 years of age with Atrofia Girata. He explains to me that it is an incurable disease, which progresses until the vision is completely lost between 40 and 70 years of age. He mentioned a dietary treatment (foods low in protein / arginine) that could help me to reduce the progress of the disease for which I had to go with nutritionists and tell me how to follow it.


When consulting with the nutritionist who referred me, he asks me about my diet and emphasizes that it is impossible to live without proteins. Being salmon one of my favorite foods, he told me to stop eating it since it was the food with the highest arginine, but that everything else would eat normally.


At 17 years of age they detect cataracts in both eyes. My school performance decreased in a way that I couldn't understand since my effort was even greater. In the face of my despair I begin to relate the decrease in my school performance to the Girata Atrophy and I decide to become "vegan."

 

The time has come to choose my career, I have always dreamed of achieving a scientific discovery and having a cure for my illness, so I decided to study Medicine despite the difficulties and risks that this entailed. However, I did not see it as an obstacle to achieving the goal, which will be to find an effective treatment to improve the quality of life of people who, like me, suffer from Atrophy Girata, and why not, find a cure for this disease.

 

At 20 years of age I have ophthalmological studies (OCT of the macula) and they tell me that I have something called "Cystoid Macular Edema", which in more understandable words is; fluid in the retina., and it makes you look very blurry. Thanks to the results of these studies, I realized that being vegan was not helping me to stop the progression of visual loss. With the support of my parents, I decide to stop studying for a time to go to China and take a treatment with traditional Chinese medicine; The results were not very satisfactory.


Upon returning to college I remembered what motivated me to study medicine and my dreams for "finding the cure for something." I do my thesis on Atrophy Girata and in my research I realize that there is a diet which consists in reducing the consumption of protein / low in arginine, which is complemented with a metabolic formula modified in amino acids that compensates for the diet, since , the progression of the disease has been seen to decrease because you remove the toxic amino acid "arginine" in the eyes. Upon discovering this information, my hopes were reinforced and when I inquired more about it, it came to the experts specialized in: inborn errors of metabolism. At the same time a retinologist doctor with a fellow in Chorioretinean dystrophies gets in the way, in other words; an eye disease specialist like the one I have. The incredible thing is that there does not end my surprise, since this retinologist introduces me to a geneticist doctor expert in degenerative diseases of the eye. I must admit that all these specialists see them as angels that were sent to me to help me fight Girata Atrophy.

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On the other hand, I realize on social networks that there are people with Atrofia Girata in Mexico and Latin America asking for help because nobody offers them a treatment, they don't know who to go to or they don't have the resources to take care of the disease. It is at that moment when I decide to constitute the “Mexican Foundation of Atrophy Girata AC” and with it to give people with atrophy that help that due to ignorance of it is almost non-existent and at the same time arouse interest within the community to combat the blindness generated by this disease.