Mar 20th 2013

BMEC patient runs London Marathon to raise money for Glaucoma Research

On Sunday 21st April thousands of people will descend on our fine capital to compete in what is widely considered as one of the world’s top five marathons.  Coming in all shapes and sizes, participants wear a wide range of running attire. Some are kitted out in the latest high tech, breathable fabrics while others don guerrilla suits and other soon-to-be sweaty fancy dress costumes.

Many of these participants run to support a cause that is close to their heart, one of which will be Alan Davies who is raising money for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Charity.  Alan was treated at the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre (BMEC) and wants to help support research into the condition, glaucoma. .

Mr Davies has visited BMEC for over a decade to have regular check ups on his eyes after waking  one morning during his early teens without full vision. He was diagnosed with glaucoma at thirteen and went on to have his first eye operation at the age of sixteen. Now, more than thirty years on, Mr Davies has once again had a potentially sight-saving operation.  Due to being closely monitored by Ophthalmologists at BMEC, a deterioration in his condition was identified and acted upon This was  crucial as the disease is often labelled “the silent thief of sight” due to its sometimes asymptomatic progression to blindness.

An operation was carried out by Dr Raj in 2011 but wasn’t 100% successful. This meant that Mr Davies was required to have further surgery and in February 2012.  Surgeons carried out a  successful  operation to insert a drain that removes a harmful pressure from the eye

Instead of joining the 4.5million people around the world who are now blind because of glaucoma Alan will be  running  the staggering 26.2 miles of the London Marathon with full vision.

Putting his gratitude into context with a light-hearted analogy, Mr Davies said “we always leave a tip after eating in a restaurant so raising money for BMEC is like our tip, it’s a way of thanking the staff for their work which is even more important than serving my dinner!”

Although a keen runner and member of Halesowen based Cobra Running and Triathlon Club, this will be a step up for Mr Davies as he has previously participated in 5k, 10k and half marathon events. This means that he will need all the encouragement he can get to push him and his wife, who he is running with, to the finish line.