Inspirational Elaine takes the plunge

Elaine Manna is an inspirational 70-year old lady that took the plunge and did a skydive on Friday 18 November 2016, raising just over £2080.00 for Moorfields Eye Charity.

Dr Pearse Keane, from Moorfields Eye Hospital, knows Elaine and wanted to shares his thanks for Elaine amazing achievement.

                “In the past year, I feel privileged to have gotten to know Elaine, both as a friend and a collaborator. She is a truly inspirational woman who is a powerful advocate for vision research through her eloquent descriptions of the real world impact of sudden, severe visual loss. In addition, her fundraising efforts will make a huge difference to Moorfields, helping us to better diagnose and treat people with eye disease. On behalf of everyone at the hospital, I’d like to thank Elaine for all her incredible fundraising efforts.”

This fantastic lady has shared why she chose to do a skydive and, why she chose to raise funds for Moorfields Eye Charity.

This is her story:-

 

“My name is Elaine. I was born a miner’s daughter and I am very proud of my roots. I have lived in London for twenty years and I have two sons and a daughter who are all creatively employed within the Arts field. I encouraged and supported them to follow their dreams and I am truly delighted that they have all succeeded. I love the theatre and attend ballet classes every Saturday which I enjoy very much. I have a huge interest in conservation and live two minutes away from The Wetlands.

 

“I was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at King's College Hospital in the year 2000. I had suffered a central bleed to the macular in my left eye and the only option was to have it lasered to stop the bleed. The lasering completely knocked my central vision out in that eye, but,  I had no idea that there was a possibility that in years to come it would also affect my right eye. I was devastated.

 

                “I have attended Moorfield’s Eye Hospital since 2013 and I was recently encouraged to speak about my experiences living with AMD which culminated into a short presentation of my story at Google Deep Mind Health. I was grateful to be able to relate my story to the audience, which was streamed live on YouTube. The opportunity to share with others at the first patient engagement meeting served to spur me on, to drive and inspire me to raise funds for the charity.

 

                “I wanted to give something back to Moorfield’s for all their amazing care as I would be in a wilderness without them. Helping to raise money for Moorfield’s Eye Charity by doing a tandem skydive is a challenge at my age. It is also a privilege. I know I can do it. The funds will help to enable others to see a world through brighter eyes illuminated with light. It will enable research into how eye diseases start and new treatments will be found. I would not want anyone to suffer from AMD or any other serious eye disease and stumble along a rocky path of ever-increasing shadows and darkness. Sight is precious. The tandem skydive is my humble contribution to help to save the sight of many.  It is symbolic in itself. Falling through the air will almost like feel being out of control, just as I did when I was diagnosed with the disease. The parachute will open and I will be lifted up. In the same way, Moorfield’s caught me and stopped me from falling into despair. It is a gift in itself that I am able to do it, to help make that difference.

                “I think people fundraise for Moorfield’s Eye Charity because they care so much about the emotional and physical well-being of people living with an eye disease. They really appreciate how very precious sight is. I feel fundraiser's have complete and utter faith in Moorfield’s. It’s a giant of patient-centred excellence. They continue to accomplish so much for so many through their innovative outlook and the magnificent work that they are able to do through sponsorship. Often it is the very people who have serious eye conditions, or who see a loved one suffering with eye disease that inspires people to fundraise for the charity. People may do it for a myriad of reasons but I feel sure that ultimately, they do it for Moorfield's Charity, because they do and will continue to save sight.”

If you are inspired by Elaine’s story and would like to sponsor her please visit her JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/elaine-manna .

If Elaine has made you want to fundraise or you would like to tell us your story please email us to Gabrielle.Richardson@moorfields.nhs.uk or give us a call on 020 7 566 2486.