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Walking into the Light

Fundraiser for Retinal Research: Sponsored Walk October 2010

Rob Matthews MBE and James Logue walked the Queen Charlotte Track over Labour Weekend 2010.

They were joined on the walk by Rob's guide Reilly Smith, and Retina NZ's Zane Bartlett. 

The sponsored walk was to support the establishment of the country's first nationwide database of families and individuals with inherited eye disorders affecting the retina and the optic nerve.

This database, which has its administrative base at the Department of Ophthalmology in the University of Auckland, will be a resource that will improve patient care, enhance our understanding of retinal disorders, and potentially identify new retinal genes.  The development of a national database has been a long term goal for Retina NZ, and we are excited that it is becoming a reality.

The walkers' efforts culminated in June 2011 with the presentation of a cheque for $15000 to researchers at the University of Auckland.

Below is a photo taken at the presentation.  Left to right are: Professor Paul Robinson and Dr Andrea Vincent (University of Auckland), Rob and James, and Camille Guy from Retina NZ.

 Presentation of a cheque for the final total of $15000.

About the walkers

Rob Matthews MBE is from Auckland, and James Logue is from Wellington. 

Rob Matthews and James Logue.

Rob Matthews, left and James Logue

Rob has won 29 international gold medals including 8 paralympic gold medals. He has set 22 world records and, competing in his debut for New Zealand in September 2009, won the silver medal at the World Triathlon Championships on the Australian Gold Coast. He has cycled around the world, and driven a racing car at high speed; he skis on snow and on water, and plays golf, football and cricket.

Rob's autobiography "Running Blind" was published by HarperCollins NZ in October 2009.

James was diagnosed with RP in 2008 while part way through a quantity surveying course. As an active sportsman, James has been inspired by Rob's attitude to life, especially his continued involvement in sport at the highest level.

Inherited retinal disorders

Inherited disorders of the retina and/or the optic nerve usually affect both eyes and eventually lead to vision loss. Some people may have poor vision from birth, although most are diagnosed between the ages of 10 and 30.

To find out more about RP and other hereditary retinal conditions, visit our Links & Resources section, where there are links to the website of Retina International and other international sites with easy-to-read information.

Our thanks to Rob's sponsors:

Harper Collins Publishers.

Retinal photographs on this website are courtesy of the New Zealand Association of Optometrists. Other photographs in our page headers are courtesy of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.