Throughout September, my Poppy’s heart steadily declined. Though that may have been what caused him to leave us on September 30, 2016 at 95, I watched him fight his own battle with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) for over 15 years. It was a humbling thing to bear witness to, to say the least. He would often say he knew I was there but he couldn’t see my face. He frequently cocked his head or turned his body to allow anything and everything to fall inside his peripheral vision rather than his center of vision – the very thing AMD was taking from him. Poppy played tennis until his mid 80’s when he ultimately decided the joy the game brought him was hindered by the fact that he could no longer see the tennis ball. In 2015, when we lost my Nana, he started to say he wanted to stop playing bridge with his friends, one of his biggest social outlets, because he was having trouble seeing even the larger cards his group purchased just for him. Poppy’s social life had always been busier than mine, and I watched it shrink for years due to AMD. I also watched him struggle to read and watch TV. In order to do either, he would turn to a special pair of glasses or a machine similar to an overhead projector given to him by the local Association for the Blind. Both helped, but they never acted as a cure; they couldn’t. A specialist monitored Poppy’s AMD progression. In order to do so, Poppy endured bright photos and needles placed into his eyes. He loved his doctor, but he hated the appointments because they left him in pain with his eyes closed for the rest of the day. These things became a way of life for him, but he slowly needed more and more help. Admitting he needed help and asking for it always led to him saying he was a “pain”. There could never have been more false statement. The only way to describe Poppy is to say he was magic. One of my life’s greatest honors was being his granddaughter, which is why I would jump at the chance to be his date to anything from lunch and gardening to dinner and an opera. “rUn, Love” A granddaughter’s tribute to her grandfather By Carly totten 12 Macula Vision Research Foundation Spring/Summer 2017