WALK FOR WIGGLY EYES - NYSTAGMUS AWARENESS
WHAT IS WALK FOR WIGGLY EYES?
Walk for Wiggly Eyes is a charity fundraiser for the condition Nystagmus and is being completed by Mike Sheen who will be walking the full length of New Zealand from bottom to top. Mike's journey is about reaching out to others with the condition, as well as building awareness and raising money for his selected charities, Nystagmus Network, Gift of Sight and Blind Low Vision NZ. Mike started his walk back in December in Bluff NZ and has so far reached the top of the South Island! (You can do it Mike!) Mike will be keeping his followers and fans updated along the way as he makes his way across the Te Araroa, a pathway that runs the length of the picturesque country that is New Zealand.
Te Araroa: A 3,000km route stretching from Bluff in the South of New Zealand to Cape Reinga in the North. Te Araroa is the greatest New Zealand adventure there is - and should be on every Kiwi's bucket list.
‘Walk it all, walk it in your lifetime, walk New Zealand - walk Te Araroa!’
SO WHAT IS NYSTAGMUS?
Nystagmus is a complex visual impairment, characterised by involuntary eye movements, affecting focus and depth perception. The eyes appear to wobble or flicker from side to side or up and down. Nystagmus is caused by abnormal functioning of the part of the brain which regulates eye movement and positioning.
There currently is NO CURE for Nystagmus, so raising awareness about the condition is important and one which is close to Mike’s heart. As you may or may not know, Mike himself has Nystagmus but more on that in a sec!
Nystagmus can also effect up to 1 in 1,000 people and is the most common form of visual impairment among children. The condition can also affect both men and women of all ages.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS AWESOME GUY MIKE!?
Mike is originally from the Southampton UK and has led an adventurous life travelling across the globe visiting places such as Asia, America and New Zealand to name a few, and now living in Brisbane, Australia. Mike was diagnosed from a young age with Nystagmus and then with Myopia (also known as short-sightedness) but has never let these conditions hold him back. As for work, Mike is trained in electronics and is working as a Workshop Technician, repairing components for all of South East Queensland's public transport's payment systems. Sounds like very clever, fiddly and techy work! Well done Mike!
WHY WALK NEW ZEALAND?
TO RAISE AWARENESS AND MONEY FOR NYSTAGMUS OF COURSE!
Mike is hoping to raise awareness of Nystagmus, to help those that have the condition, or those with family or friends with the condition; and to raise money for further research into nystagmus. Nystagmus is a condition that causes involuntary, rapid movement in one or both eyes, and it will often cause vision problems, including blurriness. These conditions can make simple daily tasks extremely difficult, and in some cases, near impossible.
WHO IS MIKE RAISING MONEY FOR?
The Gift of Sight Appeal was established with the aim of funding world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness.
The Nystagmus Network provides support and information, whilst raising awareness and funding research. The charity leads the way in promoting a better understanding of the condition and funding research to find effective treatments.
Blind Low Vision NZ help to find solutions together, with maintaining independence being of importance. They support and help people to get around safely using a white cane, public transport or a guide dog as well as helping prepare meals, use technology, stay in employment or connect with others.
Here at OCULA, we are immensely proud of Mike for his dedication, passion and determination has been second to none. We reached out to Mike as we caught wind from Australia of his big walk and couldn’t help but get in touch as soon as we could to hear about his story and of course about his brilliant cause for raising awareness and money for nystagmus.
Mike managed to reach us even with his busy calendar and stopped off at all three stores across the South Island of New Zealand, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wanaka. We welcomed Mike with refreshments, snacks and a large dose of encouragement and support from our team. OCULA has donated $300 towards Mike's chosen charities above and we wish him all the success with the rest of his walk!
Check out the map below to see the gigantic walk route Mike is currently on! Stay tuned by clicking here for Mike's location and see if you can #matchmike