A SEVERELY sight-impaired mum-of-two has set up an online group to share her story and spread awareness to help others.

Catherine Hunter Riley, from Willaston, was diagnosed with Goldmann-Favre syndrome when she was seven-years-old. 

Goldmann-Favre syndrome is an inherited eye disease that affects the light-sensitive part of the eye (retina).

Catherine explained that she has lived a "normal life" but just does some things "a bit differently".

Two years ago, she took part in the NHS 100000 Genomes Project and was diagnosed with KCN V2 which is a degenerative condition.

This diagnosis means that Catherine could eventually lose her sight, so she decided to create an online group called Through My Eyes to share her personal journey and spread awareness about what it's like to live with a hidden disability.

Chester and District Standard: Catherine and her daughter Grace (7) and son George (3)Catherine and her daughter Grace (7) and son George (3) (Image: Catherine Hunter Riley)

She said: "It's essential to raise awareness about what having a disability is like and daily challenges I face as a mum things that are out of control.

"I share tips about what I find. For example, getting access cards to watch shows in theatres which allows you to sit in premium seats not for a premium price so you can see the stage, because nobody tells you about these things.

"Also, how I can't see someone who is coming towards me so I judge it on their walk because everyone walks different.

"What has actually transpired from setting this up is people who aren’t affected by any of this, or know anyone affected by it, learn things from my page."

Chester and District Standard: Catherine and her daughter Grace (7)Catherine and her daughter Grace (7) (Image: Catherine Hunter Riley)

Catherine's daily struggles

In her daily life, Catherine has no distance vision over a metre, and no central vision, only peripheral. 

She is also colour blind across the spectrum and has no night vision if she is in the dark.

"I grew up to learn that the shade of green is like the grass but I don't know if I see green like everyone else does", the 41-year-old added.

"I can't see curbs or bollards and don't know where the other side of the road is so my daughter (Grace) says 'I'll be your eyes mummy'.

"There is still a long way to go but I class myself as having a hidden disability because I don’t need a cane and I just wear glasses so don’t look like I have a disability."

Speaking about the future, Catherine said her sight could get worse and eventually go completely.

She said: "I went to a specialist a couple of weeks ago and he said there’s more damage to my retina than last time which means it is gradually getting worse but I haven't noticed any difference.

"The thought of not seeing my kids walk down the aisle is something I don't even want to think about.

"I just think life is too short and you've got to deal with the cards you're given."

To follow Catherine's journey and tips, visit here.