Ian Turner: a man who loves a challenge
7 January 2020
Ian has been taking on challenges across land and sea both to raise money for Moorfields and to raise awareness of Nance Horan Syndrome.
Ian’s grandson Sidney was born with Nance Horan Syndrome, a rare condition that causes blindness and autism.
Sidney is registered blind and has special needs. He has had many operations at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, and will need regular care in the future.
What is Nance Horan Syndrome?
Nance Horan syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects teeth and eyes. It is present from birth and can cause a number of sight problems, resulting in poor vision overall.
The symptoms of Nance Horan syndrome can vary significantly from person to person, and may impact not only sight but other parts of the body, too. For example, some people may experience additional physical abnormalities and/or intellectual impairment.
Common symptoms include:
- clouding of the lens of the eyes (cataracts);
- unusual smallness of the front, clear portion of the eye through which light passes (the ‘microcornea’);
- uncontrollable rapid eye movement of the eyes (nystagmus);
- extra teeth or the absence of teeth;
- abnormally-shaped teeth.
Nance Horan syndrome is caused by a gene mutation and can affect both men and women, however it is usually more severe in men.
As there is no cure for Nance Horan syndrome at the moment, treatment for this condition is usually tailored towards managing its symptoms.
Ian’s fundraising challenges
In 2016, to raise awareness of Sidney’s condition and raise money for Moorfields, Ian took on his first adventure – completing a four mile route through his home town in a manual wheelchair.
Cheered on by friends and accompanied by his sheepdog Glen, Ian managed to raise a very impressive £2,300!
His story was even broadcast on the local radio station, Spirit FM.
I want to do this for the bravery that my grandson and his parents show. Everyone who knows them marvels at how they have made such a happy brave little boy.
But that was just the beginning. In 2017, he decided he wanted a fresh challenge. This time, he completed a four mile swim in the open sea - using just his arms!
Ian presented Moorfields Eye Charity with another cheque at a special thank you dinner, this time for £2,800.
As if that wasn’t enough, Ian was at it again in 2018. He swam the same route as the year before, going across the sea from Pagham Beach to Mulberry Harbour and back.
He was supported by the whole community and raised an incredible £2,500.
A way to say thank you
Over the years Ian’s efforts have raised over £7,000 to support the work of Moorfields Eye Hospital.
He is a modest man but his actions are remarkable – and the funds he has raised for Moorfields Eye Charity will help secure a better future for Sidney and all other children who are treated at Moorfields.
On behalf of us all we thank you, and this is for all the children who have to be looked after at Moorfields by so many dedicated and wonderful people. We know that you need our support too.