Dispensing optician running first ever marathon to beat macular disease

Posted: Tuesday 07 May 2019

A dispensing optician will be running his first ever marathon later this month to help find a cure for macular disease, after seeing the huge impact it can have on people’s lives.

Dylan Russell, who is a practice manager and dispensing optician at Boots Opticians in Edinburgh, will be taking part in the city’s 26.2-mile race to support people living with macular disease.

He decided to take on the challenge for the Macular Society after working in eye health for seven years and seeing first-hand the devastating impact it can have on people’s lives, often leaving them unable to drive, read or see faces.

He said: “I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum really. Those who have recently been diagnosed, struggling to deal with the shock, trying to understand what their future looks like and how they will cope. Then you have those who are further along the emotional journey, who believe that there is nothing that can be done to help them with their vision and have retreated within themselves.”

The Edinburgh Marathon is second only to the London Marathon in the UK, with over 16,000 runners taking part.

Dylan said: “Macular disease has a huge impact on people’s lives. Noticing your central vision deteriorating and then being told that it is something that can’t be fixed is going to unnerve even the most confident of people.

“Without the right guidance and support those mentioned above can quickly lose all hope.

“With it being my first marathon I knew I could drum up a lot of noise about it. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to draw some attention to a worthy cause.

“If all I can do is raise some awareness towards a disease a lot of people won’t know exists and the support network that Macular Society provides then I will be happy.”

He added: “Raising a large amount of money to help go towards more resources and treatments, maybe even a cure would be an added bonus.”