I’ve an in-built body clock — I never set the alarm and I’ve yet to sleep in. I live in Harold’s Cross and my route to work takes me along the canal bank, where I plan the day ahead.
I grab coffee at the shop beside the office in Ely Place before heading into a meeting with the Target 5000 clinical and research team. Our biggest initiative to date, it aims to provide genetic testing for the estimated 5,000 people in Ireland who have an inherited retinal condition.
I have breakfast at my desk and catch-up with emails. I search for any research news that could benefit our members. As a medical research organisation, it’s essential to stay up to date on advances taking place. I pass any relevant stories to our communications manager to share on social media.
I meet with the CEO and board of directors. We are a patient-led charity funding research into potential treatment and cures for blindness. My job is to implement strategy and manage the research portfolio.
I devote time to organising our annual conference, Retina 2017, which brings together leading experts on sight loss. It takes place on October 13 and 14 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin. Day two is aimed at the public, offering those affected by sight loss a chance to hear first-hand of advances in treatment as well as an opportunity to speak with researchers and doctors.
After lunch I link in with our advocacy department — we are currently working on public and patient involvement in research aiming to create an active partnership between researchers and those living with sight loss. In all, 247,000 children and adults in Ireland are affected by severe vision impairment.
I speak with a patient on the phone who has just received a diagnosis and seeking information. I then organise a call to our medical and science advisory board to report on projects we’re funding.
I get a second wind and do a bit of writing for our newsletter. I walk home at my leisure.
I share with three others and evenings are often given over to Netflix.
“It is essential to stay up to date on advances”