Fundación Mexicana de Atrofia Girata was inspired by the uncertainty of knowing what could happen to my vision. My name is Graciela Chairez, medical doctor, president, and founder of this project, and this is my story: I was born in 1994, but everything started when I was 6 years old with "night blindness" which I didn't know how to communicate to my parents in such a way that they could understand and believe 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 Gyrate Atrophy 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 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. But I couldn't find the specialists so I keep eating as normal.
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, As my sight was getting worse I decided to start a vegan diet on my own.
The time has come to choose my career, I have always dreamed of achieving a scientific discovery and having the cure for Gyrate Atrophy, 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 are losing their sight, and why not we can include the cure of more hereditary retinal diseases
In my 20th, Cystoid Macular Edema appeared, which is fluid in the retina that makes you see very blurry. I realized that having a vegan diet was not helping me to stop the progression. What took me to look for more options of treatment, so with the support of my parents, I decided to go to China to a traditional chinise hospital with the expectection of improving my vision, so I stoped college for a year.
Upon returning to college I remembered what motivated me to study medicine and my dreams of "finding the cure", so, I did my thesis about Gyrate Atrophy and in my research, I realized that there is a diet thay decrease the progresion of the disease, that consists in a low protein diet intake that need to be supplemented with a modify amino acids form, Upon discovering this information, my hopes were reinforced and when I inquired more,afterward, the experts came into my life: dietitians specialized in inborn errors of metabolism, a retinologist doctor with a fellow in Chorioretinean dystrophies who introduces me to a geneticist doctor expert in degenerative diseases of the eye. I must admit that all these specialists were angels that were sent to me to help me conquer Gyrate Atrophy.
Likewise, I saw the need of people with Gyrate Atrophy and other retinal dystrophies in Mexico and latin america. How they need the right ortientation, treatment and emontional support. So I created this proyect with the expectensing of bring hope to their lives.