Mark Dixie: chopping the knot for Moorfields
After Mark’s daughter was born with congenital glaucoma, he decided to fundraise by shaving off his trendy tresses.
In 2017, Mark and wife Cerys’ daughter Laira was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma at three months old. They travelled back and forth to the children’s department at Moorfields Eye Hospital regularly, where Laira was treated.
What is congenital glaucoma?
Congenital glaucoma is a type of glaucoma that affects babies and children. Some people are born with it, while others develop it during childhood.
It is sometimes referred to as ‘paediatric’ or ‘juvenile’ glaucoma.
It occurs when high pressure damages the delicate nerve fibres in the optic nerve which carry signals from the eyes to the brain.
This high pressure is caused by having too much liquid inside the eyeball. It’s usually because the drainage channel inside the eye has not formed properly inside the womb, or because it has become blocked by inflammation inside the eye.
Congenital glaucoma is rare but it can cause young people to lose some of their eyesight.
1 in 20,000
About 1 in 20,000 children are born with glaucoma, or develop it in childhood
Most children and young people with congenital glaucoma need an eye operation and eye drops to bring the pressure inside their eye down and prevent sight loss.
After experiencing the care Moorfields provides to children like Laira, Mark decided he wanted to do something to say thank you.
To his friends, Mark was renowned for his ‘top knot’ hairstyle and, despite many requests (and attempts!) by friends to chop it off, he maintained the look for a long time.
But on Saturday 25 February 2017, Mark decided to make the ultimate sacrifice and fundraise for Moorfields Eye Charity by shaving his head!
Mark’s brave efforts raised an astonishing £3,374 in total - this will go to the children’s Glaucoma Department at Moorfields.
Mark also donated his chopped off hair to The Little Princess Trust who use donated hair to provide wigs for children with cancer.