Julia Nicholls: fundraising all the way from London to Brighton
31 October 2019
Julia is being treated at Moorfields for a degenerative eye condition. To show her appreciation, she decided to take on a mammoth 100 kilometre walk!
Julia came to Moorfields when she noticed her vision was blurry in her left eye.
After a few tests her consultant discovered the cause of her sight problem – she had a rare condition called myopic macular degeneration.
What is myopic macular degeneration?
Myopic macular degeneration develops when your eyeball is not spherical but long. The abnormal shape causes the walls of the eyeball to become stretched. Eventually the layers at the back of the eye can become so thin that cells in the retina begin to die.
This process causes short-sightedness and over time it can damage part of the retina (called the ‘macular’) and distort central vision.
Myopic macular degeneration is similar to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but occurs at a younger age. Myopic macular degeneration is also known as myopic maculopathy.
- distorted images;
- blurred or missing spots in your vision;
- sensitivity to light.
Because it isn’t possible to change the way the eyeball grows, there is currently no way to treat the cause of myopic macular degeneration. However, if new blood vessels develop, injections of anti-VEGF drugs can delay when you get it.
Julia was shocked to learn about her diagnosis. She was just 30 years old and otherwise in good health, so it was very unexpected.
Treatment at Moorfields
Julia’s doctor immediately put her on a course of injections of a special antibody (anti-VGEF) to try to slow down the degeneration process and save Julia’s sight.
She was incredibly grateful for the care she received and decided to show her support by fundraising for Moorfields Eye Charity with an impressive challenge – a 100 kilometre walk from London to Brighton!
The 100 kilometre London to Brighton Challenge
The 100 kilometer London to Brighton Challenge starts in Richmond, London and finishes at Brighton Racecourse. It takes between 20 to 30 hours to finish and has to be completed without stopping - or sleeping!
Julia was excited to take on this new adventure. “London and Brighton are very special places to me, which made me want to do it more,” she says, “and who knows, walking might actually be quicker than trying to get a Southern Rail train these days!”
Not only did the walk present me with an amazing challenge, it also gave me a fantastic opportunity to raise money for Moorfields Eye Charity and repay a bit of my debt of gratitude.
Giving something back
Julia completed the 100 kilometre London to Brighton Challenge in May 2017 - and raised a phenomenal £1,227 for Moorfields Eye Charity in the process! She was delighted to be able to give something back.
Your eyesight is something that is incredibly easy to take for granted. I certainly did until mine started to fail.
“Everyone at Moorfields has been so exceptionally kind and supportive,” Julia explains.
“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 for eye conditions.”