Elaine Manna: wing walking for Moorfields at 74
Dedicated fundraiser takes on her biggest challenge yet!
Elaine was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 21 years ago. She is determined to support the vital work of Moorfields by taking on epic fundraising challenges.
Elaine came to Moorfields in 2013 after living with AMD for a number of years and losing the central vision in both her eyes.
As well as treating her sight condition, doctors encouraged Elaine to share her experience with other patients to help them cope with AMD.
She began telling her story at patient engagement meetings and ended up sharing her experience with experts Google’s Deep Mind Health. Her talk was even livestreamed on YouTube!
What is age-related macular degeneration (AMD)?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that causes damage to the light-sensitive layer of cells at the back of your eye, causing sight loss.
This layer of cells is called the retina. The macular is a small part of your retina that is critical for central vision, so AMD mainly causes loss of central vision.
AMD affects people over the age of 50. It is the most common form of macular degeneration.
There are two types of AMD:
- ‘Dry’ AMD, which is caused by a build-up of waste material under the macula.
- ‘Wet’ AMD, which is caused by abnormal blood vessels growing underneath the retina and leaking fluids.
People with AMD often experience sight loss or blurring in their central vision. This means they struggle to do everyday tasks like reading a clock or recognising people’s faces.
Around three quarters of AMD cases are ‘dry’, which doesn’t usually cause severe sight loss
AMD affects over 600,000 people in the UK
Taking on a fundraising challenge
Elaine was very grateful for her experience with Moorfields. It motivated her to find a way to help others in a similar situation and to say thank you. She has already completed the fastest zip wire in the world and a tandem sky dive to fundraise!
I wanted to give something back to Moorfield’s for all their amazing care as I would be in a wilderness without them. They really appreciate how very precious sight is.
Wing walking- 22 August 2021
Elaine’s next challenge is a wing walk - a feat that would be impressive for anyone, let alone a 74 year old person with sight loss!
She’ll be strapped onto the wings of a vintage Boeing Stearman Biplane, completing steep turns, zoom climbs and dives reaching speeds of up to 130mph.
Elaine’s fundraising efforts will make a huge difference to Moorfields, helping the team to better diagnose and treat people with eye disease.
Elaine is a truly inspirational woman, a powerful advocate for vision research and her fundraising efforts will make a huge difference to Moorfields. On behalf of everyone at the hospital, I’d like to thank Elaine for her incredible efforts.
Dr Pearse Keane, a consultant ophthalmologist at Moorfields