Retinal Realities

Retinal Realities is our new podcast platform which will be used to engage in discussions on a wide range of topics including:
• Interesting information on retinal degenerative conditions,
• Discussions on the latest and greatest assistive devices and apps which help the visually impaired,
• Conversations and stories covering science, tech, family, relationships, careers, humour, inspirational triumphs, social change and many more arears of interest.

Do you have a retinal condition, or are you a family member of an RD person.
Do you have a story to tell on your life, career, hobby, motivation or a special person or situation that helped, motivate you.
Would you be able to do a short voice interview +- 15 minutes, If YES
Please email us about 7 questions we can ask you during an informal chat.
Mail to Karen@retinasa.org.za or Claudette@retinasa.org.za
This is your opportunity to motivate others.
All our podcasts are available on the DAISY Players.

Podcast Disclaimer:
Any information, either audio or visual, contained on this Podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
We are not medical doctors, and you should always contact your physician or other qualified health care professional for any medical advice you need.
The views expressed in this podcast do not reflect the views of Retina South Africa or any of our sponsors.

EPISODE 19 – Inner Vision – A Yoga Journey beyond sight – with Claudette Medefindt

The image is a promotional graphic for the “RETINAL REALITIES Podcast” Episode 19, titled “A Yoga Journey Beyond Sight” with Claudette Medefindt. It features a person performing a yoga pose, a close-up of an eye with a map overlay, and logos for Retina South Africa and Roche with the tagline “A Cure in Sight for Blindness.”

Welcome to our special International Yoga Day podcast. Today, we are honoured to share a truly inspiring story of resilience, transformation, and inner strength. Yoga is not
just a practice; it is a profound journey of self-discovery and healing. This journey is especially poignant for our guest, a remarkable yoga teacher who has faced the challenges of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition that has gradually taken her vision but never her spirit.

Through the art and discipline of yoga and mindfulness, she has found a sanctuary of peace, a source of unwavering strength, and a pathway to acceptance and joy.

Join us as we delve into her extraordinary journey, exploring how yoga has not only grounded her but also empowered her to embrace life with courage and

Today, we celebrate the transformative power of yoga and the indomitable human spirit, exemplified by our guest Claudette Medefindt’s incredible story.

Listen on Spotify at https://bit.ly/4cBXetq

EPISODE 18 – “Green” Dreams – Bowling beyond limits – with Nicholas Dedekind

The image is a promotional graphic for Episode 18 of the Retinal Realities Podcast and features an illustration of an eye with what appears to be a bionic or cybernetic enhancement, indicating a possible connection to vision or eye technology. The central image shows Nicholas Dedekind in a blue top and blue jeans sitting on steps, looking down towards his lap with a smile.

On this Youth Day, Sonya, our Youth Team Leader, hosts Nicholas Dedekind on the Youth Edition of the Retinal Realities Podcast.
Nicholas, a 24-year-old male living with Stargardt’s disease, recently graduated with honors in Economics (Cum Laude) from the University of Pretoria. Currently, he works as an intern economist in Johannesburg.
Notably, Nicholas achieved a gold medal in the B3 Men’s singles event while representing the South African Invitational Bowls team at this year’s IBD World Championships.
Listen to the full podcast on Spotify at https://spoti.fi/4cnq5BS

Join Retina South Africa for a day of fun and fundraising at our Bowls for Sight Day on the 28 July 2024.

For more information about the event, visit our events page at https://retinasa.org.za/events/bowls-for-sight/.

EPISODE 17 – Hope through Trials – A Stargardt’s Patient’s Perspective – with Melanie Nel 

The image is a promotional graphic for the “RETINAL REALITIES Podcast,” specifically for episode 17 titled “HOPE THROUGH TRIALS.” It features a pixelated photograph of Melanie Nel, an illustration of an eye with retinal imagery, and logos for Retina South Africa and Roche.
In this episode we explore the remarkable journey of those who dare to participate in groundbreaking medical trials, we delve into a story that embodies courage, uncertainty, and unwavering hope.

Our journey begins when Melani Nel received that life-changing call. The one that would lead her to a clinical trial for Stargardt’s disease right here in South Africa. Emotions swirled within her—disbelief, excitement, hesitation. After all, this was uncharted territory. She had never been part of a clinical trial before, and questions loomed: What impact would it have on her physical and mental well-being?

What if this trial held the key to restoring her vision? Or what if it amounted to nothing more than a hopeful experiment? The possibilities danced in her mind.

At first, a 2-year clinical trial seemed like a very long time, but the months flew by and as she was finishing up with the last tests, she was grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of medical research history. Even though this specific trial didn’t have the outcome she was hoping for, she now knows that there are researchers out there working tirelessly to find a cure for Stargardt’s and several other retinal diseases.

“Medical research isn’t a straight path; it’s a winding journey of discovery, testing, and retesting. And this trial was a beacon—a chance to contribute, to light the way for future generations of young children and teens diagnosed with Stargardt’s.”

Listen on Spotify at https://bit.ly/4c2wDFV


EPISODE 16 – THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS – with Hazel Sacharowitz

The podcast title, Retinal Reality Podcast,” is prominently displayed at the top in large white letters. An orange banner indicates that this is episode 16, The episode title, “Through the Looking Glass,” appears inside an orange rectangle. To the right of the title is a picture of a man holding a magnifying glass. Below the episode title, it mentions the guest: Hazel Sacharowitz. In the lower left corner, there are two logos, Retina South Africa and Roche the sponsor of the Podcast. An icon of a microphone enclosed in a circle signifies it’s a podcast episode.

Welcome to this episode of the podcast “Through the Looking Glass: Unveiling Low Vision with an Optometry Expert

17 – 23 March is World Optometry Week, with the 23rd being World Optometry Day, the focus is on recognising the contributions of optometrists.

In today’s enlightening episode, we have the privilege of hosting Hazel Sacharowitz, a distinguished Optometrist from the Low Vision Care Centre.

Hazel has over 35 years of experience in the field of low vision including lecturing and training of the Optometry students at the University of Johannesburg. She is well known and respected in her field and has presented at numerous local and international conferences. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and remains passionate about low vision.

Tune in, listen, and let’s explore the world of low vision together. Remember, you’re not alone—we’re here to support you!

Listen on Spotify at https://bit.ly/3IIvypW or wherever you listen to your podcasts.


In this captivating podcast, we delve into the remarkable journey of Zaheeda Saloojee Jooma, a true embodiment of bravery and determination. Despite being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition causing damage to the retina, Zaheeda defied the odds and embarked on a cycling adventure just four weeks ago as she geared up to participate in the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight.

For visually impaired individuals like Zaheeda, everyday tasks pose unique challenges, yet she refuses to let her condition hold her back. With George De Goveia as her volunteer pilot on a tandem bicycle, Zaheeda was ready to conquer the ride, putting her trust in someone else’s hands.

The feeling of pride, bravery, and facing fears head-on is palpable in Zaheeda’s story. It takes immense courage to step out of one’s comfort zone, especially when relying on another person for guidance. Yet, Zaheeda’s determination speaks volumes about her resilience and spirit.

Zaheeda’s story serves as an inspiration to us all, urging us to break barriers and embrace inclusivity in para sports. Let’s join hands in supporting initiatives like the Dis-Chem Ride for Sight which strive to create awareness and opportunities for the visually impaired and blind community.

EPISODE 14 – LIVING THE SWEET LIFE – WORLD DIABETES DAY- 14 November 2023 – with Gavin van Wyk

Retinal Realities podcast image and picture of Gavin van Wyk and his wifeToday is World Diabetes Day and on the Retinal Realities Podcast, we have a special guest: Gavin van Wyk. Gavin is a SA Diabetes Advocate and a Retina SA Patient Advocate who has been living with Type 1 Diabetes for 35 years. He has experienced many challenges due to his diabetes, such as losing a lower limb and having low vision from Diabetic Retinopathy.

Join Karen and Claudette as they talk to Gavin about his inspiring story of coping with Diabetes and Vision Loss on this podcast. To find out more about Diabetic Retinopathy, you can read this article: https://sweetlife.org.za/what-is-retinopathy/ 
Listen on YouTube https://youtu.be/jw6FyE4L7dA
Listen on Spotify https://bit.ly/3QNSac3 

EPISODE 13 – WORLD RETINA WEEEK- 24-30 September 2023 – with Claudette Medefindt & Sonya Lee Mahabeer

Retinal Realities Podcast Cover Art Picture

World Retina Week is observed during the week of 24-30 September, it is observed in more than 40 countries to create awareness about retinal vision loss.

On the podcast today we have two dedicated women who are active members of Retina South Africa, Claudette Medefindt who has a 40-year history and Sonya Lee Mahabeer who has just recently brought her enthusiasm and energy to the organisation.

They each share their story on how they became involved in Retina South Africa and how Retina SA has helped them.

Listen to their stories on Spotify at https://bit.ly/3ZB26Kk
Listen on YouTube:

EPISODE 12 – NATIONAL WILLS WEEK – with Sonya Lee Mahabeer

Cover Art for Retinal Realities Podcast

On todays episode of the Retinal Realities Podcast we are joined by Sonya Lee Mahabeer who is an admitted attorney who is passionate about ethics, human rights, commercial law, including financial planning law, ESG and Legal Education. She is a member of Retina South Africa and is involved in the Youth and Governance Sub Committees.
11-15 September is National Wills Week and Sonya shares with us some insights which will aim to create awareness about drafting a will and testament. She will also discuss the objectives of a will and some legislative requirements.
Listen to the full episode on 

EPISODE 11 – WOMEN WITH VISION – with Dr Farah Moti

Happy Women’s Day!
Today is a day to celebrate the amazing women in our lives and to recognize the incredible contributions they make to our world. Let’s take a moment to appreciate the strong, resilient, and inspiring women who have made a difference in our lives. Here’s to all the women who have made a positive impact on our lives and our world!
On today’s Retinal Realities podcast Karen and Claudette are joined by one of these amazing women, Dr Farah Moti.
She is an Ophthalmic Surgeon with a distinction in her Masters dissertation, a mum of three, President of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa.
Listen to her story on Spotify at https://bit.ly/44Us50U 
Listen on YouTube https://bit.ly/47I0C3u


Retinal Realities Podcast Cover page with a picture of Grant surfing a wave

Retinal Realities Podcast – Episode 10 – With a Little Help from my Friends
Today is International Friendship Day and on the podcast our guest is Grant Medefindt.
Grant is a successful designer and surfer from Cape Town. He has surfed in many exotic places, despite having Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition that affects his vision. He is grateful to his surf buddies Brett, Brent and Guy, who help him catch the waves safely and enjoyably.
Listen on Spotify at https://bit.ly/3qdI4rJ
Listen on YouTube

EPISODE 9 – CHECKMATE – with Luzuko Ngwevwla

Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of Luzuko playing blind chess

Chess is a game of strategy and skill that requires a great deal of concentration and focus. For a visually impaired person, playing chess can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. One of the most inspiring examples of a visually impaired person playing chess is that of Luzuko Ngwevwla from Cape Town. He learned to play chess in Worcester after going blind. Despite his disability, he enjoys playing in chess tournaments in person and online via Skype. 
Listen on Spotify https://bit.ly/43yJBXd
Listen on YouTube:


Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of Hilton in his running gear
Retinal Realities, Youth Edition celebrates World Youth Skills Day (15 July 2023).
On the podcast today Sonya and Samantha are joined by Hilton Langenhoven, who shares his phenomenal journey as a former paralympic athlete, world champion and commonwealth medalist.
A story filled with courage, determination, and resilience about “chasing” your dreams and believing in leaps of faith.
“Don’t cheat your workout, break-up with your comfort zone” – Hilton Langenhoven
Listen on Spotify: https://bit.ly/3OfFyKS
Listen on YouTube:


Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of Charlie Dyasi

“You are only disabled when you let yourself be disabled”, you are as abled as you are letting yourself and your mind be – Charlie Dyasi”

Meet Charlie Dyasi and his guide dog Billy, who are our guests on the Youth Edition podcast today. Charlie is a blind sound engineer, voice over artist, radio presenter and podcast host. He shows us how to overcome disability with determination and hard work. Charlie and Billy prove that nothing is impossible.
Listen on Spotify: https://bit.ly/3psiOxA
Listen on YouTube:

EPISODE 6 – INTRO INTO YOUTH EDITION –  Manny Moodley & Sonya Lee Mahabeer

Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of youth holding hands

Retinal Realities Podcast: Youth Edition is a podcast by Retina South Africa that aims to empower, create awareness and support the youth with retinal conditions. It features interviews with young people, their families and medical professionals who share their experiences and insights. We invite the youth to interact with us on our social media platforms and suggest topics that interest them. “Empowering youth today for a brighter tomorrow”

Listen on Spotify https://bit.ly/44nW8O3
Listen on YouTube: https://youtu.be/LHQzFQTTCdA

EPISODE 5 – PAWS AT THE OFFICE –  Mariza Jurgens and Dotty

Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of Mariza and her guide dog Dotty

Today we celebrate Bring your Dog to Work Day with Mariza Jurgens and her guide dog Dotty. Mariza is a blind accessibility advocate who works to improve information access for the disabled in South Africa. She has Cone Rod Dystrophy, a visual impairment that affects her vision. Dotty helps her with tasks such as crossing the street, avoiding obstacles and finding her way around. Dotty is trained by Guide Dogs UK and responds to Mariza’s commands and alerts. Let’s appreciate these amazing animals and their owners!
Listen on Spotify https://bit.ly/3Pvnf5o
Listen on YouTube


Retinal Realities Podcast Art with a picture of Alani Ferreira

Happy Youth Day!

This week on the Retinal Realities podcast, we have Alani Ferreira, a two-time Paralympic swimmer who has Stargardts. She is also a BCom graduate and works in Agriculture. She has a guide dog named Gatsby. She tells us how she overcame her disability and achieved her goals. She says “Don’t let your disability limit you”, people are going to try and put you into a box, but the box has a lid, open the lid and climb out.
Listen on Spotify https://bit.ly/3JDIM8v
Listen on YouTube

EPISODE 3 – WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAVE – Michele McFarlane – Parasurfer

Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of Michele on a surfboard

Our guest today on World Ocean Day 8 June 2023 is Michele Mc Farlane – Parasurfer.

In 2005, Michele was diagnosed with 40 degrees vision due to the deteriorating eye disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. 

Two years ago, Michele did an adaptive surf clinic with the Roxy Davis Foundation and with her signature drive entered her first local competition the following year. In December 2022 Michele represented South Africa in the World Parasurfing Championships. 
Listen on Spotify https://bit.ly/3P1L4l7
Listen on YouTube


Retinal Realities Podcast Image with a picture of Linsay

Our guest today on World Bicycle Day 3 June 2023 is Paratriathlete Linsay Engelbrecht.

Linsay was diagnosed with Stargardts Disease – a genetic progressive eye disorder at the age of 23, but this hasn’t stopped her from achieving her goals.

Listen to her story on Spotify at https://bit.ly/45Njo9F

Listen on YouTube

EPISODE 1 – SHARING YOUR STORY – Claudette Medefindt – Head of Science 

Retinal Realities Podcast Image: Picture of an eye in the bottom right hand corner, the Retina SA Logo and the Roche Logo in the right hand side. On the top of the image is the words Retinal Realities and a picture of a microphone

In this episode we talk to Claudette Medefindt, Head of Science at Retina South Africa and she shares a little more about why Retina SA decided to start the Retinal Realities Podcast. 
Listen on Spotify https://spoti.fi/42t3M8c
Listen on YouTube https://bit.ly/3MRT3zv


Picture contains the words Retinal Realities is White Bold Text with a picture of a microphone and the Retina SA Logo and Roche Logo at the bottom and a picture of an eye in the right hand cornerIn this promo of the Retinal Realities Podcast Karen Denton Head of Advocacy and Awareness shares what listeners can expect from the Retinal Realities Podcast.
Listen on Spotify https://spoti.fi/3MTBM8a
Liston on YouTube

Platinum Gold Radio Podcasts

Listen to the series of past chats with Claudette Medefindt (Head of Science) and Karen Denton (Head of Advocacy and Education) about eye-care, eyesight preservation, eyesight management and daily operations with impaired vision.

For more podcasts goto their website address  www.platinumgoldradio.com