The Norgate family: walking Eye to Eye together!
7 January 2020
Eye to Eye is Moorfield Eye Charity’s annual fundraising walk. In 2018, Claire Norgate and her family took part in the event to raise money for Moorfields.
Claire came to Moorfields A&E in 2015 after noticing a blind spot in her left eye.
Even though it was Christmas time, Claire was seen within hours. Her consultant immediately booked her in for tests.
When the results came back, Claire discovered that she had not one but two very rare autoimmune conditions - multifocal choroiditis (MFC) and acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR).
No one knows what causes these conditions, but doctors did know that Clare’s sight was at risk.
What is multifocal choroiditis? (MFC)
Multifocal choroiditis (MFC) is a rare, inflammatory condition which causes damage to the tissue between the white of your eye and the retina, and ultimately affecting vision.
20 to 60
Multifocal choroiditis occurs most frequently in females aged between 20 and 60 years old
- blurry vision;
- sensitivity to light;
- blind spots;
- mild eye discomfort.
MFC usually affects both eyes and is diagnosed by examining the blood flow at the back of the eye, on your retina. While there is no cure for this condition at the moment, it is usually managed by taking steroids.
What is acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR)?
Acute Zonal Occult Outer Retinopathy (AZOOR) is an inflammatory condition which causes damage to the tissue in your retina, affecting your vision.
The cause of AZOOR is unknown but it is thought to be related to a problem in the immune system. Sufferers are often short-sighted and are, on average, in their 30s.
AZOOR typically affects women almost three times more than men
People experiencing AZOOR may notice they suddenly have blurry or missing vision, like a blind spot. Often, this is accompanied by flashing or shimmering lights called ‘photopsias’.
Some patients may also have suffered from viral-like illnesses in the weeks before the onset of visual symptoms.
Usually only one eye is affected, but sometimes the other eye may also become affected subsequently.
Claire was shocked by her diagnosis. “The future of my sight is unknown,” she explains.
I have two young beautiful daughters and the thought of not waking up to their gorgeous faces scared me. But I am currently stable thanks to the care and treatment from the staff at Moorfields.
Saying thank you
Claire wanted to find a way to give back to Moorfields. She decided to take part the Eye to Eye walk – Moorfields Eye Charity’s annual fundraiser.
She took part for the first time in 2016 with her husband, and then again in 2018 with her eldest daughter.
Our Eye to Eye Walk
- A walk from Moorfields Eye Hospital past the new Oriel site
- Two routes – 5 or 15 miles
- Moorfields patients, their loved ones, staff and researchers coming together to show their thanks
- Every penny raised helps to change the lives of those living with sight loss
“The atmosphere on the day was brilliant,” she says. “I met lots of people with different eye conditions - all being helped by Moorfields. Everyone is so friendly and chatty, the walk whizzed past. It was great to see the London sights - that alone was worth the walk.”
Crossing the finishing line was amazing – it was great knowing we were raising awareness and giving something back to the hospital that helps people with eye conditions.
The Norgates had a brilliant time taking part in Eye to Eye and raised an impressive £720 between them!
Claire says, “People often take their sight for granted and Moorfields Hospital try to help as many people as they can – please donate to support further research at Moorfields.”