Prime Minister Recognises a Mum’s Fight for Sight Mission

04 July 16

written by:

Heather Fanning

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Emma Salisbury acknowledged for Points of Light scheme

A mother of three, from Welling, Kent, has been recognised for her charity work through the Prime Minister’s Points of Light scheme.

The No. 10 Downing Street initiative recognises outstanding individual volunteers across the country and Emma Salisbury, 42, has been selected having raised £475k to support vital eye research.

In 2005 Emma’s son, Tommy, then aged four was diagnosed with a rare inherited eye condition, called choroideremia. With no treatment currently available, she was determined to do something about it and set up the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund at Fight for Sight, the UK’s main eye research charity.

Emma said: “It’s a mother’s worst fear to know that your child has an eye condition that’s currently incurable and will cause them to lose their sight. You think you can imagine what it would be like but you can’t imagine. You feel like you are grieving for something that you haven’t really lost yet”.

Through sheer hard work and determination Emma, along with family and friends, raised funds to support Professor Miguel Seabra’s research work at Imperial College London. This research played a key role in identifying the function of the protein REP-1 causing choroideremia, this was the stepping stone that enabled the world’s first gene-replacement therapy trial to take place at Oxford University.

Emma continued: “Once you start looking into a condition you realise that funding is needed for medical research. Without eye research, you’re never ever going to find a treatment. There and then we decided that fundraising was what we needed to do in order to make a difference. That’s why we support Fight for Sight to help find a cure for Tommy and everyone else living with the condition. I’m delighted to be acknowledged for the Points of Light award but I really couldn’t have done this without the support of my friends and family.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “After her son was diagnosed with choroideremia, Emma kindly offered support to others living with the condition by raising impressive amounts for charity.  Emma’s dedication to fighting for sight has improved the lives of so many people with this debilitating eye condition. I’m delighted to name her a Point of Light.”

Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight for Sight, said: "We are thrilled that Emma has been recognised for her tremendous achievements in raising funds for the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund at Fight for Sight. Choroideremia is a blinding condition for which there is currently no treatment, thanks to Emma’s determination, drive and commitment, British researchers have started the world’s first clinical trial of a potential treatment for this condition.”

Every week day the Prime Minister recognises an inspirational volunteer with the Daily Points of Light award. Learn more about Tommy’s fight for sight story and please donate by text TOMM10 £10 to 70070.