“There is nothing like a Dame.” –Robin Williams, 1999 Academy Awards
Well said, Robin. Well said.
Dame Judi Dench has graced our screens as The Evil Queen of Numbers, better known as “M” in the 007 series; the influential mother of J. Edgar; and was also awarded the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her seven minutes of screen time as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love.
She is also a Best Actress nominee this year for her role in Philomena and could walk home with Oscar gold this Sunday.
Her accomplishments on stage and screen are many, with an acting career spanning nearly six decades. But what most people don’t know is that Dench has a serious eye health condition of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss for people ages 65 and older around the world. About 1.75 million Americans and 600,000 Brits currently have advanced AMD.
This serious eye condition damages the back of the eye, preventing those affected from seeing objects straight ahead. There are two types of AMD: Dry AMD, which reduces central vision and affects color perception and Wet AMD, which can cause blindness.
Dench has dry AMD in one eye, and wet AMD in the other. She explained to the UK Mirror, “I can’t read scripts anymore because of the trouble with my eyes.” And yet, the condition has not prevented her from acting. Dame Judi expressed that she doesn’t intend on leaving the craft just yet. “What I can do, I do. And I somehow get by,” she tells BBC.
Well Dame Judi, you are an example of strength because not even an eye condition can pull you away from what you love to do every day. Oscar or no Oscar this Sunday, you’ve already won in my book.
Don’t wait to find out if you are at risk for AMD! Take the Amsler Grid test. Those who see wavy, broken, or missing pieces could be at risk for AMD and should make an appointment with their eye doctor.