Mafalda’s Story reminds of the importance of regular eye checks

A new book being promoted in Optometry Today describes the plight of a young girl with a rare eye disease and how she is facing up to the prospect of losing her sight.

The book has important lessons in dealing with life’s challenges, and how to deal with a life without full vision. There is a key theme throughout though and that is the message that regular eye checks help ensure early diagnosis.

Titled “The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree”, the book is about a nine-year-old girl, called Mafalda, who discovers that she has Stargardt disease and will become completely blind in only a matter of months’. In preparation for her impending loss of sight, Mafalda starts writing a list of the things she won’t be able to do any more in her darkness and what she can still do.

The book provides a realistic view of life with low vision, describing how Mafalda’s’ failing sight has forced her to deal with “tween” experiences such as changing friendships, her first boyfriend, moving house, and her grandmother’s death in a new way.

The novel is authored by Paola Peretti (who herself has Stargardt disease) and translated by Denise Muir, is published by Hot Key Books. It can be purchased online for £6.99.

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree gives a fascinating insight into the world of childhood visual impairment, but it is important to remember that not all eye related disorders are as serious as in Mafaldas story. In most cases, simply having regularly eye checks can often mean the disease can be treated and eyesight saved.

Providing an Optometrists view on the book, Lesley Cree of Lesley Cree Opticians said “Children’s books are often clear and simple in the way they are written and, in their message, but also intense and full of imagination. Mafalda’s story signifies the importance of our eyesight and why it is important not to take it for granted. A regular eye check is painless to go through but so often provides the early indicators of potential health issues.”

If you are concerned with your eyesight and want to have a consultation with your local optometrist, please visit the practice to make an appointment or call to speak to one of our staff members on 0115 933 2999.