Chairperson, Glaucoma Friend's Network
Born in Tokyo in 1939
Twelve years ago, while she was very busy every day in partnership with her politician husband, Ms. Kakizawa was diagnosed with glaucoma. The disease was detected too late and she lost 90% of her eyesight. From this experience she sensed the need for early diagnosis. Through activities such as public appearances, etc., she began to educate people and help raise the awareness of glaucoma. She established the Glaucoma Friend's Network in June 2000. Her husband is ,former Foreign Minister, Koji Kakizawa.
About the Glaucoma Friend's Network
Sometimes called “a chronic disease of the eyes,” glaucoma inflicts one in 30 persons over the age of 40. One of the scariest things about glaucoma is that it worsens without the patient’s awareness. To tell you about my experience, I was diagnosed with glaucoma 12 years ago, and I have since lost 90% of my vision. If I had detected the disease one month earlier, I could have saved the sight in one of my eyes.
With the proper awareness, information, and early diagnosis of glaucoma, we can stop its progress and reduce the number of people who tragically lose their eyesight.
Now, with the compassionate assistance of many specialists including the network’s advisor, Dr. Yoshiaki Kitazawa (Professor Emeritus of Gifu University), I have established the Glaucoma Friend's Network. Along with providing all kinds of information about glaucoma to the general public, the Glaucoma Friend's Network aims to provide counseling for glaucoma patients and their families. In addition, it hopes to convince the government to make examinations for intraocular pressure, the ocular fundus, and the field of vision part of standard health checkups.
In modern society, people depend on visually-processed information to obtain the majority of the information they need. Therefore, we feel that it is our duty to appeal to the whole of society and also to the government regarding the circumstances of glaucoma and its patients.
Furthermore, we would like to play a small role in providing a forum for communication between patients, their families, relatives, and all others who care about them. I sincerely thank you for your participation and your support.
June 1, 2000
Glaucoma Friend's Network
Eiko Kakizawa, Chairperson
（Dr. Kitazawa was retired from the network’s advisor, in May 2011）