Polegate teenager with sight loss condition skydives and abseils for charity
A teenager from Polegate with a sight loss condition will take part in two terrifying aerial stunts to fundraise for an eye research charity.
Nathan Dunbar will drop 430ft from the viewing tower of the British Airways i360 in Brighton in July 2020.
He will then follow this up with a 15,000ft skydive over the Salisbury Plains.
The 17-year-old was diagnosed with Keratoconus in his eyes five years ago and intends to fundraise for research into the condition with his death-defying stunts.
Proceeds from Nathan’s sponsored aerial challenges will be donated to the eye research charity Fight for Sight.
Over the past three years, Nathan has completed a number of fundraising events to raise money for the charity.
Nathan said: “I raise money for eye research because I think it’s so important to give back. I also want to encourage more young people to get involved in their communities. It’s our future we’re helping.”
In August 2017, Nathan made a dramatic 80-metre descent from the 114-metre tall tower, the Arcelormittal Orbit, in the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
He said: “I think it is very important to raise money for research into such an uncertain eye condition that affects so many people – the majority of whom are under the age of 20.
“I hope that by helping to fund research, a new treatment for keratoconus will be found.”
Head of research at Fight for Sight Dr Rubina Ahmed said: “We are so grateful to Nathan and all of our supporters who are helping to raise vital funds for eye research.
“The research we fund is uncovering new breakthroughs every day, and with more support we can help transform the lives of people with sight loss.”
Keratoconus affects the cornea, the clear round-shaped front surface of the eye, which becomes progressively thinner and weaker over time.
The abnormal change of shape causes a person to have blurred and distorted sight as it prevents the light that enters their eye from being correctly focused. Scientists do not understand exactly what causes keratoconus.
Fight for Sight is currently funding Dr Mouhamed Al-Aqaba and his team of researchers at Nottingham University who are using biological ‘markers’ to investigate the underlying nerve structures in keratoconus.
Fight for Sight recently contributed to research at Guys Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital to understand more about the effectiveness of a new treatment for keratoconus called corneal cross-linking.
Nathan’s Just Giving page can be found here.