Do you have contact with people who have an inherited retinal disease?
I’ve been involved in vision research, specifically in retinal degeneration research, for a couple of years now. This year I am completing my Honours (a year-long research project as part of my undergraduate degree) working on a project looking into the neovascular/wet form of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) with Clear Vision Research – a lab based at the Australian National University. AMD is a disease which affects around 1 in 7 Australians over the age of 50 with little treatment options, so while I don’t have much direct contact with individuals who have inherited retinal diseases, I’m passionate about work and research in this area.
What made you choose running in the Sydney Marathon as a fundraiser?
A combination of things led me to running the Sydney Marathon: I’ve been recreationally running this year as a way to keep fit and healthy and to explore some of my local surroundings, a marathon has also always been on my bucket list, I thought that this would be a valuable opportunity to raise money for a cause close to my heart, and I’m Canberra-based, so Sydney wasn’t too far of a trek!
What was the experience of preparing for the event like?
I’ve been running quite frequently since the beginning of this year, so had been slowly ramping up the distances across the past few months in preparation.
From the moment I decided I wanted to do the marathon, I had been ensuring I was running enough each week and preparing with the right nutrition to ensure everything went smoothly on race day.
How was the actual experience of running on the day?
The atmosphere in Sydney and on the course was amazing. I was grateful to have a small cheer squad of my own supporting me, in addition to the thousands of other runners on the course and people cheering along the sidelines.
It was a hot day, compared to what I had been preparing in, so I definitely felt the heat, but the aid stations, other runners, and spectators made the day go as smoothly as possible.
As my first marathon, and the longest distance I’d ever run, this was always going to be a bit of a challenge, however I was super excited to cross the finish line at the end. The energy and excitement of the day meant it is one that will certainly stick in my memory books.
What do you hope your fundraising efforts will do for Retina Australia?
I hope that my fundraising efforts can continue to support important research into retinal diseases. I’m very grateful for those who generously donated to my fundraiser, and hope that this money will support further work in the area.
What is your hope from running this event?
For me, it was all about awareness, which I think we have achieved.
I’d like to thank both Retina Australia and the Team for taking the time to support and participate in this activity with such enthusiasm. It means alot to me and I’m sure to others too.