Retina Western Cape High Tea Fundraiser 2017


To: All our wonderful Table Hosts and Sponsors

Thank you for your contribution to our High Tea Fundraiser held at Erin Hall, Rondebosch this year.

Your contribution is highly valued and appreciated and is a great vote of confidence in our mission of raising funds towards research into  finding a cure for genetic retinal blindness.

We have thanked you publicly on our Facebook page which is where you will also find a photo album of our event. Click here to see the photo album: 

Please use the hashtag #RetinaWCHIghTea2017 and #RetinaWC when sharing this post.

Please accept our most sincere thanks for your support.


Shape Your Life Interview

If you were unable to watch the Shape Your Life episode featuring an interview with Anoop Narotam (member of Retina South Africa) and Claudette Medefindt (Director of Science – Retina South Africa) on Channel 405, please find below the link to the YouTube video of the interview.


Retina SA’s Working Group on Radio Sonde Grense (RSG)



The Retina SA Working Group were on Radio Sonde Grense (RSG) on Sunday 30 July 2017.

If you missed it, please click on the link below to listen to the interview. The interview was done in Afrikaans.

Click on this link:




High Tea Fundraiser: Sunday 27 August 2017

fundraiser, event, fundraising event, high tea


You're officially AWESOME

We Thank You!!

We want to take this opportunity to award you as one of our Sponsors with a


Retina SA relies on funds, donations and any other form of support from

the public and corporate business.

We want to thank the following awesome businesses for sponsoring our

High Tea Fundraiser 2017

David Sharp of  Loreal South Africa –  Loreal South Africa

Nicki van Vuuren of Protea Hotels by Marriott and African Pride HotelsProtea Hotels and African Pride Hotels

Rafiek Mammon Rafiek Mammon of  Ganarama Productions

Simone Heradien – Artscape Theatre

Annie Gibbert – Wholebody Clinic

Potego Mminele – Associated Magazines  – Associated Magazines

Ian Macfarlane – Ubuntu Wellness Centre

 Salim Gani of Fay’s Décor – Fay’s Decor

You’re all officially AWESOME!

My Story (Part II)

Finding out that you have Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is always a shock, we rely on our eyes without question.

My glorious future lay spread before me, drivers licence in my hand, a rich medical career, travel, the Arts, marry a Professor, beautiful babies—-you know what girls are like!


And then, in five stunned minutes, it was gone; I went into shock in Adderley Street and found myself in Stuttafords with a stranger, a God-given lady and cups of tea asking me  what had happened. Never forget the people who appear unexpectedly in your life and make things better. I am so grateful, and I wish I could extend my work of support at hospital  eye outpatients to ease those terrible moments.


So I drove home, angry by this time. Opthalmologists examined  my eldest sister and my youngest sister were both easily diagnosed with RP.  Sister number 3 was fine.


One day quite soon, the full Genome Study will reveal all.


Pay attention dear reader, our family history of RP is still a mystery. My Great grandparents on both sides , NO RP reported. My  grandparents on both sides, NO RP, BUT my eldest aunt had one of those” RP moments” , aged nine and was diagnosed . Her 2 sisters had  NO RP symptoms (night-blindness) no RP signs in the retina. The baby sister was my beautiful mother.


So what did I do ?  I worked at the National Pathology Laboratories in Cape Town, saved my pennies and boarded an ocean liner for England —and I didn’t tell anyone about RP

My Story (Part 1)

By Dr Gina Sampson

(For those who don’t know, Dr Gina Sampson is one of the original founders of our organisation, and a long serving member of the branch)

A long, long time ago I was born in King Williams Town, Ciskei in the Eastern Cape, and when I was older saw a photo of myself, aged three, sitting on a pony in the Transkei. Life was sunny and secure, and I was one of three children plus the new baby — all girls — alas, no brother.

The big things were going to kindergarten, learning to read, turning 6 and getting a bicycle as a birthday present. We then moved to the big city of Pretoria. We played in our big garden and would drive to the farm where we would explore and watch our eldest aunt, who was “blind”. Our eyes were all “fine”.

The years went by, with study, some treats and wonderful Christmas journeys to the coast, into the teenage years, and finally; matric exams and career decisions.

Looking back, there were some incidents and strange accidents, but I never guessed that I had a problem. I shall speak in later writings about the important role of parents keeping informed and keeping an eye on their children’s eyes.

So I went to university, worked hard, had happy times and returned home (which was then in Cape Town) and started work in a medical laboratory.

Fine eyesight was needed…This was no problem! My reading and fine hand-work sight was still perfect, but there were a few other issues with my eyesight which started bothering me. That is when I drove my mother’s car to town and sat in an Ophthalmologists room. He studied my eyes carefully outside and inside, and then said; “do you want the truth?”  I stiffened up and said “of course” and he answered “you have Retinitis Pigmentosa”, I was 19 years old at the time.