Visually impaired professional triathlete Amy Dixon was the keynote speaker at our 2023 Patient Summit, held in Long Beach, California on June 23 – 24.
A former high school athlete, at age 22 Amy was diagnosed with uveitis, a rare autoimmune disease that left her legally blind. After years of steroid treatments prompted significant weight gain, Amy took a bold step to empower herself: She began training for a triathlon and ran her first race in 2013, swimming and running tethered to a sighted female guide and competing on a tandem bike.
A five-year member of the USA Paratriathlon National Team, Dixon competed in the Tokyo Summer Paralympic Games in 2021 and is currently training for the 2024 games in Paris. She is the reigning Aquathlon World Champion, a two-time USA Paratriathlon National Champion, USA Cycling National Time Trial Champion, and a seven-time ITU Triathlon Gold Medalist. In 2017, Dixon founded Camp No Sight No Limits, the first camp for blind triathletes in the United States.
“I find that people who live with vision loss tend to spend a lot of time in their heads rather than in their bodies,” Amy said. “At the GRF Patient Summit, I wanted to share the message that there is virtually nothing we can’t do if we learn to navigate the world differently.” Dixon also stressed the importance of complying with treatment guidelines and taking charge of one’s own vision. “When you live with glaucoma you need to be your own chief medical officer,” she said. “By educating, supporting, and empowering people with glaucoma, GRF helps us do that.
“Patients inspire and drive the work at Glaucoma Research Foundation, each and every day,” said Thomas Brunner, GRF President and CEO. “Amy is an incredible example of how important self-advocacy is for those living with glaucoma. Her story is beyond inspiring, and we were honored to have her participation at our Patient Summit this year.”
In addition to an elite paratriathlete, Dixon is a dedicated patient advocate and motivational speaker, spreading awareness and hope as she competes around the world. She previously received the 2021 Visionary Award from GRF, honoring her dedication to improving the lives of people with vision loss.
This was the fifth year for GRF’s Glaucoma Patient Summit, which brings patients, caregivers, and glaucoma experts together in a unique supportive community.
For more information, visit https://glaucoma.org/summit.
First posted on May 4, 2023; updated on August 15, 2023