By Alexa Kaczka
Sue Townsend, bestselling author of the hugely popular Adrian Mole series, has revealed how she is still struggling to cope with the loss of her vision.
The 65-year-old was diagnosed with the blinding condition diabetic retinopathy in the late 1990s, which slowly robbed her of her eyesight to the point where she was classed as blind in 2001.
As an author, her everyday life is concerned with reading and absorbing words and she told the BBC that the drastic change in her personal circumstances was extremely hard to accept, until she realised she had no choice.
"You can't underestimate what a devastating blow it is," Townsend explained, though it has not stopped her from publishing three Adrian Mole books over the past ten years.
Part of her work now focuses on campaigning to secure more reading facilities for people with sight problems, ranging from Braille works to audiobooks and tools for the visually impaired.
It comes just a couple of weeks after the actress Judi Dench revealed that she is losing her battle with age-related macular degeneration, and now needs family and friends to read film scripts to her.
by Martin Burns