When my sister and I took part in the 14-mile sponsored walk from Moorfields Eye Hospital to the London Eye back in March 2016, to raise money for Moorfields Eye Charity, we told ourselves we’d only be doing it once and so went all-out to raise as much dosh as was possible without resorting to bank robbery. Our plan of basically harassing family, friends, and work colleagues into sponsoring us appeared to work pretty well. Thanks to our many generous supporters we raised a total of £1,656 plus £270 in gift aid. We’d been so nervous about whether or not we’d actually manage to trudge the 14 miles without either collapsing in exhaustion or getting hopelessly lost in the maze-like streets of London that we hadn’t contemplated the possibility that we might actually enjoy the whole experience. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to find that we had a wonderful time and thoroughly enjoyed the entire day (apart from the GIANT blister and aching legs at the end). The weather was chilly but bright and sunny with clear blue skies; we saw interesting parts of London which we hadn’t even known existed; and we met some lovely people in the form of fellow walkers. It was also extremely satisfying being part of a large organised event which raised awareness of Moorfields and the fantastic work they do (we were stopped by a few curious people as we trudged along, who wanted to know which eye we were walking from and to).
So when Moorfields Eye Charity began advertising Eye to Eye 2017, we thought, “What the heck – let’s go for it again!”. The main reason for our initial hesitation was that we didn’t want to have to ask the same people to sponsor us again, and we doubted that we’d manage to raise as much money as we did the first time around. However, the reality of the situation is that money is still needed to carry out research into treatments to save sight. The RNIB has listed some interesting statistics on its website (http://www.rnib.org.uk/knowledge-and-research-hub/key-information-and-statistics), including the following facts:
There are almost two million people in the UK living with sight loss. This figure includes those that have uncorrected refractive error or cataract that may be reversed. This figure also includes around 360,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted in the UK, who have severe and irreversible sight loss. The number of people in the UK with sight loss is set to increase in line with population ageing: by 2050 the number of people with sight loss in the UK could be nearly four million.
In addition to these facts and from a purely selfish point of view, my partially detached right retina is still being held in place by silicone oil which ideally needs to be removed at some point. I have extremely poor vision in that eye as well as being constantly worried about my left eye due to the previous two large tears in that retina, the lattice degeneration, a bunch of floaters, and a cataract. The prospect of my visual future both terrifies and depresses me at times. In the absence of a miracle, I’d quite like a magic solution to be discovered via scientific research as soon as possible. As Moorfields is one of the world’s leading eye hospital, providing expertise in research, I’m pretty much counting on them to come up with the goods.
So that’s why we’ll be taking part in Eye to Eye 2017, only this time we’re participating as a team… the ‘RD Ramblers’. Three of our team members are people we met on the walk back in March, whom we’ve kept in touch with. All of us have been affected by retinal detachment, whether it’s as a patient or someone close to us. For more information about our team effort, and if you’d like to donate to this very worthy cause, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rd-ramblers. Of course, if we don’t get many donations, we can always go for balaclava fittings… any volunteers to drive the getaway car..? 😉