Michael Owen scores in London Marathon for eye research and treatment in Manchester
Retired footballer Michael Owen
today donated £25,681.20 to the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and
scientists from The University of Manchester, after running the
London Marathon for the cause.
The football pundit joined
thousands of other fundraisers at the starting line next to Tower
Bridge on Sunday 6th April, hoping to raise vital
funds to help scientists and doctors develop new treatments for
patients with inherited eye disorders.
Michael, who played for Liverpool,
Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City
during his career finished the race in an impressive 3 hours, 45
minutes and 43 seconds - beating off competition from other
celebrities hitting the tarmac alongside him.
Other celeb runners included ex rugby player Lewis Moody, TV
star Natalie Dormer from Game of Thrones, presenter Jenni Falconer
and Shadow Chancellor, MP Ed Balls.
Michael was joined at the cheque presentation by one of the
hospital's patients, Olivia Dronsfield from Gatley.
Two-year-old Olivia has visited the eye hospital regularly since
being diagnosed with Congenital Glaucoma at just 11-weeks-old. She
had three operations within the first six months of her life and
has continued having treatment since then.
Michael Said: "Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and scientists at
The University of Manchester are doing fantastic work to develop
new treatments for families with genetic eye disorders, so I'm
really pleased to be able to support this cause.
"It's a cause that's very close to my heart and I hope my
support will boost their quest to find more treatments for patients
Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at Manchester Royal Eye
Hospital, Professor Chris Lloyd said: "We're really pleased
that Michael has chosen our cause as one of the beneficiaries of
his fundraising. Donations like this really help us deliver
clinical research and therefore have a direct impact on the
patients that we help. We are absolutely delighted to receive
this cheque today.
This year, to mark Manchester Royal Eye Hospital's bicentenary
year, we hope to raise at least £200,000 to improve facilities in
the children's outpatient clinic. It's fantastic to have
Michael's support to help us do this."
Graeme Black, Professor of Genetics at The University of
Manchester, said: "Michael's support will help us in our
quest to improve the outcomes for patients, like Olivia, so they
can lead better and more fulfilling lives."
The University of Manchester, in partnership with Central
Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs
Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, is making a major contribution to
the future of genetic medicine through the Manchester Centre for
Genomic Medicine. This highly specialised research aims to identify
gene variants that cause disease in the eye. A new test developed
by the Manchester team has increased diagnostic pick up rates in
these conditions from 15% to over 60%.