Just incase my sister and I were in any danger of forgetting the fact that we’d signed up for the fourteen mile Eye to Eye sponsored walk on 13 March, Moorfields Eye Charity have been sending us weekly emails. “Seven weeks to go!”, announced the first one, triumphantly with air of excited anticipation. Shortly after receiving it, a somewhat more panicked missive pinged into my inbox: “Aaaaaaaaaaaagghhh!”, wrote my sister, “Seven weeks to go ’til Eye to Eye!”. “Oh don’t worry”, I assured her, “there’s still plenty of time! Have you done any practise yet?” It transpired that she hadn’t really done much practise at all because – irony of ironies – she couldn’t walk too far with the dog. Now, in the dog’s defence, he is now eleven years old and has a touch of arthritis which causes him to limp if he walks too far. My suggestion that she take him for a quick meander then return him home and go out again herself for a longer walk was greeted with a gasp of horror, “Oh no, I couldn’t do that – I’d feel too guilty!”
Not to be defeated, during my next visit to Surrey I suggested a spot of Eye to Eye practise. It was quite a family outing as my mum came too, along with both dogs. Sure enough, our canine companions didn’t seem to grasp the concept of ‘marching for Moorfields’ and seemed to be under the impression that it was ‘having a good sniff at every post for Moorfields’ instead. Unfortunately, I suspected that we wouldn’t be able to boost our fundraising total very much by adopting their approach, and we were also likely to get some very funny looks along the way. We continued as best we could, but I couldn’t help thinking that the short distance we managed (I reckon it was only about a mile and a half) wasn’t going to help us an awful lot in preparing for our fourteen-mile trek. On the other hand, it was actually pretty good-going that my sister was still ploughing ahead with Eye to Eye after an unfortunate incident several weeks back when one of her toenails fell off. “Whaddaya mean, your toenail fell off?!”, I demanded in dismay mixed with incredulity when she told me. Apparently it had been feeling a bit odd for a while before giving up the ghost and falling off completely, at which point it became very sore. Matters weren’t improved by our aunt informing us darkly that toenails take AGES to grow back. Hmmm. So that would be longer than the few weeks we had to go until Eye to Eye then! 😮
Shortly after the toenail incident, our spirits were raised by Moorfields Eye Charity’s “Six weeks to go!” email, which announced that they had selected us as their ‘fundraising heroes of the week’. My sister had already been aware of this, as they’d ‘phoned her to ask if they could write about us in the email, but it came as a complete surprise to me! Needless to say, it gave us both a boost, as did the fact that we made it past our target of raising £50 for every mile we’ll be walking. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has donated so far, and every donation we receive gives us a little boost to continue and try to raise as much as we can for Moorfields Eye Charity. The money we raise will be used to support sight saving research into retinal conditions. For further information on the Eye to Eye walk, please go to: http://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/content/eye-eye-2016, and if you’d like to sponsor us in our walking challenge please do so at: https://www.justgiving.com/emseyes. Alternatively, you can donate by texting: ‘LOOK48 £5’ (or the amount you wish to donate).