Muirend man Alan Stewart will mark 10 years of sight loss as he embarks on a 14 mile sponsored walk in clan tartan on Sunday, April 30th
The Kiltwalk is an annual multi-city event allowing anyone to raise funds for the charities and causes they care about. Alan, who will wear his Black Stewart tartan kilt, has chosen to raise funds in Glasgow’s Kiltwalk for national sight loss charity RNIB. It's a cause that's important to him and over 180,000 other people who have sight loss in Scotland, as well as their friends and families.
"In recent years I was registered blind myself, mainly due to advanced glaucoma," Alan shares. "My initial diagnosis was complicated by historic scarring on the back of my left eye, which meant I was registered as partially sighted in 2013. Despite excellent treatment, after further deterioration I was registered as severely sight impaired, essentially blind, in March 2020."
Alan keenly promotes the importance of regular eye checks to catch sight issues early. “It was just in a regular eye-check that a problem was spotted, and I was able to be referred so that any sight loss progression was slowed right down,” he says. “I do worry that many people don’t go for their free eye checks in Scotland, or it’s left too late, causing a potentially devastating impact to their sight and eye health.”
Following his diagnosis, Alan, a retired local government officer, became increasing involved with RNIB in Scotland and the UK and now sits on their advisory group.
"The RNIB does so much to support people of all ages and backgrounds who have sight-loss," he says, "from the maintaining largest audio-book library in Europe to advice on technology and benefits (there is no automatic right to welfare benefits on account of sight loss), and influencing government, public bodies and businesses to provide more inclusive services. They also operate a helpline, and most importantly provide direct support and counselling to ensure the well-being of individuals who are blind and partially sighted.
"In order for them to provide all of this, and more, I'll be participating in Glasgow’s Kiltwalk. I know money is tight right now, and there are many other good causes to support, but if anyone could chuck in a few pounds it would be most appreciated."
You can support Alan's Kiltwalk for RNIB Scotland here - www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alan-stewart39