Calum’s Olympic triathlon
5 July 2022
Calum has two sisters, Niamh and Roise, both of whom have been diagnosed with stargardt’s disease and are under the care of Moorfields Eye Hospital. As a way of saying thank you to Moorfields, Calum stepped up to take part in an epic challenge.
On 7 August 2022, Calum took part in an Olympic distance triathlon- a 1.2km swim in the River Thames (by the Excel Centre), followed by a 40km bike through London and finishing with a 10km run.
What is stargardt’s disease?
Stargardt’s disease is a rare inherited condition affecting one in 8,000 to 10,000 people. In Stargardt’s the light-sensitive layer of cells in the macular region of the eye degenerate. The macular is the area at the back of the eye which is responsible for the fine detailed vision necessary for activities such as watching TV and reading.
Symptoms of the condition typically develop before the age of 20 and include:
- A loss of detailed vision and colour perception
- Wavy vision
- Blind spots
- Difficulty adapting to low light levels
UV-blocking sunglasses can offer some protection for remaining vision. At the moment, Stargardt’s is untreatable.
Calum put in an incredible amount of work to train for the event- it makes us tired just thinking about it!
I currently swim around 3km a week in a pool and have branched out to a lido to get used to colder water. I’ve been doing my own sprint triathlons on the weekends to get myself ready for the experience, midweek gym sessions and lots of stretching which takes up most of my time!
As his sisters have received support from Moorfields since their diagnosis, he wants to ensure that anyone who walks through the doors of the hospital receives the same level of care and wants to play a part in supporting research into eye conditions such as stargardt’s.
Moorfields for my sisters and my family is a support system, it’s a place to seek advice in a difficult situation. I know both my sisters are so grateful for all the help they have received over the years.
We are incredibly grateful to Calum for taking on this incredible triathlon to support Moorfields. He completed the challenge in 3 hours and 11 minutes, 19 minutes faster than the target he set himself and raised almost £2,000- well done Calum!