By Alexa Kaczka
Fight for Sight, an eyesight charity, recently held a sponsored 15-mile walk in order to raise funds and awareness for eye conditions.
The walk, entitled Carrots NightWalk, saw over 400 people walking through London in order to raise funds for pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease.
In the UK alone, 1.8 million people are living with sight loss. For approximately half of these people, a sight test and the right glasses can correct their vision. However, for the other half, this sight loss is due to age related, diabetic and inherited eye diseases and treatment is not as straight forward.
Fight for Sight research aims to further the understanding of the causes of eye diseases, as continued research is vital for the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment of these diseases.
So far, Fight for Sight funding has helped to save the sight of premature babies, establish the UK Corneal Transplant Service, enabling over 52,000 transplants, and support the world’s first gene therapy clinical trial for inherited retinal disease.
Last year the Carrots NightWalk raised over £58,000 and it is thought that around £100,000 was raised by the event this year.
The walk was attended by GB Paralympian swimmer Chris Holmes MBE, who lost his sight at the age of 14 and went on to become Britain’s most successful individual Paralympic swimmer, winning nine gold medals.
Mr Holmes opened the event, which started at the Southbank’s BFI Imax.
He commented: "To have so many people walking to raise funds for research to prevent sight loss and to increase the awareness of the importance of eye health is just fantastic.
"Finding ways to reduce sight loss in adults and children is a cause that’s particularly close to my heart, and I hope that, through the fundraising efforts of everyone involved in the Carrots NightWalk, Fight for Sight can support even more life-changing eye research."
by Adrian Galbreth