Hertfordshire School Raises Funds for Student’s Fight for Sight

07 September 16

written by:

Heather Fanning

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Supporting vital eye research

Pupils at Lochinver House School, Hertfordshire, raised £7,500 for the UK’s main eye research charity, Fight for Sight.

The school for boys, based in Potters Bar, raised the funds after the charity was nominated by Head Captain, Nicolas Costa, to be one of the school’s ‘Charity of the Year’. His friend and pupil, Zach Rapacioli, 13, from Brookmans Park, has a rare inherited retinal condition, called retinitis pigmentosa (RP). RP affects around 1 in 3,000 and causes progressive loss of retinal photoreceptors (rods, then cones), resulting in night blindness, tunnel vision and, ultimately, severe visual disability and blindness. 

At the moment Zach finds it difficult to see at night and has tunnel vision. There is currently no treatment for RP – so the funds raised will be used to fund a research project that may ultimately lead to a treatment.

Dr Dolores Conroy, Fight for Sight’s Director of Research, attended the cheque presentation, along with Professor Michel Michaelides, Zach’s consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital and also a former Lochinver pupil. She said: “Fight for Sight doesn’t receive any government funding, so we rely on the generous support from fundraisers to help fund vital eye research. A huge thanks to Nicolas, Zach, their families and the school for the generous contribution that will be used to fund research into RP.”

Zach, who has since moved to the St Albans School said: “I try not to let my condition affect me too much and just get on with my life. I find it difficult to see at night – so I’m keen to raise money to help researchers understand my condition more and I hope they can find a treatment to prevent any further sight loss.”

If you would like to support Fight for Sight why not challenge your senses and host your own dinner in the dark? The charity is encouraging people to sign up to Feast your Eyes and raise vital funds for eye research.