Nadeem Masood from Surrey will be taking on the London to Brighton 54 mile cycle as well as another ride, totalling 154 miles of cycling this September for Moorfields Eye Charity. Nadeem has kindly shared his story and explains why he wants to raise important funds for Moorfields.
We are all guilty of taking some things in life for granted. The things we don't always realise are a very special gift and which most of us are lucky to have. Good health, the roof over our heads, friends and family, the list continues.
"For years, I took perfect vision for granted. It wasn't until my mid-teens that I noticed my eyesight becoming worse, but still I took it for granted that I would be okay. Besides it was only when focussing on very small and distant objects that I had trouble. The fear of having to wear glasses, and what my 'friends' at school would think about this, kept me from saying anything.
One day I woke up and could only see out of my left eye. My right eye only offered very cloudy vision; everything appeared as if it had been covered up by a grey patch. It was time to say something. By the evening I found myself in my local hospital having my eyes examined. It didn't take the doctors long to determine that I had keratoconus in my right eye. I wished I hadn't ignored the signs. My only comfort was the doctors' admission that this condition was going to develop and they couldn't have prevented it, only seen it and treated it before it could manifest itself in such a striking manner, the large grey scar practically blinding me in one eye.
The prognosis I was given was positive. I would be put on a course of eye drops and the scar would subside, allowing them to properly assess how best to supplement my vision - glasses or lenses. What I wasn't told was that my eyesight would never again be perfect. I faced a lifetime of deteriorating vision. Eventually I was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital for a full assessment and follow-up appointments.
Over the following 27 years (and still counting) I have had many treatments - eye creams, drops, steroids - and been subjected to wearing a hard contact lens, which I never settled into and eventually stopped using. The glasses that I had feared proved to be a necessity and I had to relent. I grew to like wearing glasses although the improvement to my vision was limited, since mine was a more tricky condition to correct compared to standard blurred vision. I had a corneal transplant to further help my vision, and the kerataconus moved to my left eye. After several years of enjoying a successful transplant, my right eye began to reject my new cornea and possible loss of vision was discussed. A transplant in my left eye was performed and had to be re-done twice before it was deemed a success.
Throughout all of my treatment Moorfields has been the one common factor. They check my eyes regularly, notice possible issues and treat them. I take a drop in my right eye every day, in order to prevent another rejection episode. Moorfields monitor this diligently, caring for my eyes and making sure I can see. See my children growing up; see well enough to drive my car; see mountains, rivers and waterfalls on holiday; see the beauty of the world around me; see people smiling and rejoicing. All of these things I would ordinarily take for granted. I know how precious my eyes are. And the eyes of my wife and children, my family, my friends, my colleagues, and every one I see every day.
Every trip to Moorfields is a reminder of how many people they help every single day, of the work they do so tirelessly, of the care that they give me. This is why I want to give something back to them now. Raising vital funds to aid their incredible work is extremely rewarding and something I am very pleased to be doing. Over two weekends in September I will be cycling 154 miles and wearing the Moorfields Eye Charity jersey with pride to hopefully raise awareness and fundraise, and to ensure that they can continue to help thousands of people still see the world around them."
Please show your support and visit Nadeem’s JustGiving page - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nadeem-masood1