Beckenham family to host flyball event for eye research

02 September 19

written by:

Alice Mitchell

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On 15th September, the Cameron family will host a flyball fundraising event in their local park in Beckenham to raise money for Fight for Sight's eye research. Running from 2-5pm, the event will bring together dogs and owners for an energetic day of Crufts-style activity and refreshments – all to raise money for research into a vision-threatening eye condition affecting three members of their family.

The family recently set up the ‘Cameron Family Fund’ with Fight for Sight to raise money for research into autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA) – which Daniel (father) along with children Beth and Edward, all have. 

What is autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA)?

Autosomal dominant optic atrophy is a rare inherited syndrome that in some cases can lead to severe sight loss.

The condition leads to degeneration of the optic nerve (optic atrophy). The optic nerve sends signals about what the eyes are seeing to the brain, and when it becomes damaged, this results in vision loss.

Symptoms usually start in childhood or adolescence and include decreased visual acuity with colour vision defects and abnormalities in the peripheral and central field of vision. The condition is highly variable, causing different levels of visual impairment, ranging from mild vision loss through to total blindness. Alongside sight loss, about 20% of people with the condition develop other symptoms such as hearing loss, pain and muscle weakness. This is called autosomal dominant optic atrophy plus syndrome (ADOA Plus).

Currently there are no approved treatments or cures for ADOA. By hosting the flyball event, the Cameron family hopes to raise money for pioneering eye research to better-understand the condition and one day find a treatment for it.

Kate Cameron said: “We want to raise awareness of Fight for Sight’s important research into eye disease and sight loss and emphasise the need to support it. We hope our next fundraiser will bring dog owners and spectators together in our community to enjoy taking part in and watching flyball – an excellent exercise for dogs, both physically and mentally. We’ll be selling home-made Cameron creations including cakes, scented candles and hand-knitted hats and scarves.”

Ed Jackson, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at Fight for Sight, said: “A huge thank you to Kate for organising this fantastic event – we hope it will raise lots of money for a very worthy cause. We know that sight loss doesn’t have to be inevitable - it’s through our fantastic supporters raising money for research that we will find the next breakthrough.”

What is flyball?

Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs compete against each other in a relay-style race, passing over hurdles and onto a box that releases a tennis ball that the dogs must then catch after pressing the spring-loaded pad and return to their handlers.

Entry costs £3 per dog, with the proceeds going towards the fund. Kate will also be collecting donations on the day.

Read more about the Cameron Family Fund and how you can support it here.

You can visit their fundraising page here.