The inspirational Julia Nicholls has decided to start her 2017 with a bang by signing up to the 100km London to Brighton Challenge on 27-28 May, with the aim of raising money to support Moorfields Eye Charity. Julia has taken the time to share her story about why she wants to take on this astonishing challenge for Moorfields and hopes it will encourage others to do the same.
“My relationship with Moorfields began last year when I noticed a blur in the centre of my vision in my left eye. I didn't think much of it and figured I'd just mention it to my optician at my next routine eye test, but a colleague whom had recently suffered a detached retina encouraged me to go to Moorfields A&E, just in case. After several tests I was found to have choroidal neovascularization/myopic macular degeneration, which came as a huge shock given I am only 30-years-old and in general good health. That was last summer and since then I have been having anti-VEGF intravitreal injections to try and stop/slow down the degeneration. Everyone at Moorfields has been so exceptionally kind and supportive.
I've previously done a couple of marathon walks and had been looking for a new challenge for some time; that's when I read about the 100km London to Brighton Challenge on 27-28 May. The walk will take between 20 and 30 hours (depending on how much of a sense of humour bypass I have along the way!) and is non-stop - so no sleeping! We start in Richmond and end at Brighton Racecourse. Not only did the walk present me with an amazing physical and psychological challenge, it also gave me a fantastic opportunity to raise money for Moorfields Eye Charity and repay a bit of my debt of gratitude. Both London (my home for the past seven years) and Brighton are very special places to me, which also added to my desire to complete it. Who knows, walking might actually be quicker than trying to get a Southern Rail train these days!
Your eyesight is something that is incredibly easy to take for granted; I certainly did until mine started to fail. Without the work funded by Moorfields Eye Charity, people all over the world would not be able to benefit from advances in prevention and treatment of all sorts of eye conditions. It's also not a charity that you hear of every day; in fact when I told people who I was fundraising for, most people said they'd not heard of it before. So, for me, it's also a great opportunity to raise awareness - it would be fantastic if people with a similar personal connection could do the same.”
You can sponsor Julia via her JustGiving Page http://www.justgiving.com/Julia-Nicholls1. If you are inspired by Julia’s story and would like to take on a challenge yourself please contact us at Gabrielle.Richardson@moorfields.nhs.uk or give us a call on 020 7566 2486.