Here's how you can support sight-loss fundraiser at Kings Langley Carnival

The most common form of macular disease is age-related macular degeneration

Monday, 13th September 2021, 10:00 am

A 47-year-old man is hoping to raise money to beat the UK’s biggest cause of sight loss at the Kings Langley Carnival this weekend.

Mark Cooper, of Abbots Langley, will have a number of items for sale on his stall and a raffle on Saturday, September 18, with all proceeds going to leading sight loss charity the Macular Society, the only UK charity solely focused on funding medical research into macular disease.

He also wants to raise awareness of Macular disease, a sight loss condition that affects the central vision of around 1.5 million people nationwide.

Mark Cooper with his mum

Mark’s mum has age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common form of macular disease.

He said: “Although my mum is coping really well it upsets her that she cannot babysit the grandkids in the evening as much as she used to because she cannot drive once it gets dark.

"She is also starting to get a little anxious about what will happen to her eye sight in the future.”

In addition to funding research studies to find a cure, the Macular Society provides a range of services including befriending, support groups and an advice and information line.

Mark running the St Albans half marathon 2021

The charity’s services are available to anyone affected by sight loss, including family members and friends.

Along with his stall at Kings Langley Carnival, Mark is also taking on his first-ever London Marathon running on behalf of the Macular Society for which he is hoping to raise £2,000.

Mark added: “I ran the Watford half-marathon twenty five years ago with my mum but never the London Marathon. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.

"I’ll probably never do it again because I wanted to make it so special by running for my mum and the charity.

“Also, with no cure to date, exposure and awareness of the public is essential to stop this isolating disease.”

Susie McCallum, Macular Society community and events fundraising manager, said: “The variety of Mark’s fundraising efforts are fantastic, and we are so grateful for his commitment, energy and support in helping us to beat macular disease.

“Although the coronavirus has had a tremendous impact on day-to-day life all over the world, it doesn’t alter the fact that vital research is still urgently needed to find a cure for macular disease.

"The only way to beat this cruel and isolating condition is by funding as much scientific research as we can to eradicate it once and for all.”

Macular disease can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces.

Many people affected describe losing their sight as being similar to bereavement. There is still no cure and most types of the disease are not treatable.

Age-related macular degeneration is the most common form of macular disease, affecting more than 600,000 people, usually over the age of 50.

If you would like to support Mark’s London Marathon challenge, click here.

If you’ve also been inspired to undertake your own challenge or would like to know more about how you can support the charity visit: www.macularsociety.org/get-involved.