We’d like to introduce you to some of the people who provide voluntary help to BUS. All of these people either have Birdshot, have a partner or family member with Birdshot or have a professional interest in Birdshot. It is wonderful the way this has just evolved, and it helps to make BUS a powerful tool for developing a Birdshot community. We are truly grateful to everyone who is involved with BUS.
Lori Bonertz is a Canadian pharmacist and medical editor living in northeastern British Columbia. She edits manuscripts for Dr David Mackey, a specialist in the genetics of eye disease, with a focus on glaucoma. She became interested in birdshot uveitis when a well-informed patient at her pharmacy had questions she couldn’t answer. While scouring the internet, she found the helpful UK BUS website. Her particular interest at work is smoking cessation. She and her Australian husband have four children and they enjoy skiing, hiking, and watching the UK series Top Gear and Sherlock Holmes. Lori is helping us to make sure that all our news items on research and trials are accurate.
Hamamelis, a retired pharmacist from the Northwest of England, recently edited the Birdshot Chorioretinopathy fact sheet for us and has volunteered to proofread future fact sheets. These two people provide us with our pharmacy expertise – without them, we would never be able to write informative news items for you.
Sue from Lincolnshire is talking to her local ophthalmologist from Hull Hospital to try and find ways of raising Birdshot awareness locally. She has approached her GP, talked to her local optometrist and made approaches for us to the UK lottery fund for future Birdshot Days. Sue would value help from others in the Lincolnshire and South East Yorkshire area who want to join forces with her in this initiative. If there are enough people – (at this stage we don’t know enough in the locality), a local support group could also be formed. Anyone interested in this should let us know and we will pass the details on. Hopefully, this will be the first of many local support groups. If there is anyone else who wants to start a local support group, I am sure Sue will be able to advise – she is brilliant at getting local people interested.
Steve is looking at producing a map of where our members are – we will then be able to see the geographical location of all members. Currently, all we are able to analyse is what geographical location people access BUS from. Once Steve has completed the mapping, we can use this to look at whether there are ‘pockets’ of Birdshot, and what the implications of this might be. Thanks, Steve, for progressing our research agenda.
Sandra has been gathering items together to hold a a raffle for BUS amongst her friends and local community. She enjoys making hand-made cards and has found that they have sold really well. We are just about to receive a cheque from her. Thank you, Sue for developing our first ever fund-raising initiative. You are an inspiration.
And of course, David our Graphic Artist continues to produce stunning artwork for us. His latest triumph is the label and packaging for the Birdshot DVD. We have other projects where we hope he will assist us into the future. David’s design skills have really helped us launch Birdshot Uveitis Society across the world. Everyone who comes across BUS comments on the very eye catching and effective logo!
Every small initiative helps raise the profile of the Birdshot Uveitis Society and Birdshot Chorioretinopathy. We have just highlighted a few initiatives more to follow!
We have also started to notice that people with Birdshot do seem to be a very highly skilled group of people – just look at all the initiatives above. What a powerful and inspirational group of people we are!!!