Marathon runner completed 500 miles to raise funds for Birmingham Midland Eye Centre

In memory of his late grandfather, Jay Patel, an IT Project Manager from Reading, finished his Berlin Marathon in September to raise funds for the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre (BMEC), where his grandpa received excellent care for his eyes.

Jay is a keen runner – he has completed a number of marathons already – but the Berlin marathon back in September was an emotional experience. He said: “My grandfather meant so much to me and although he passed away a while ago, his memory is still with me and my family.

“When he was a child, he damaged his left eye which was removed in India. Later on in his life, he suffered from glaucoma and cataracts. He also had two cornea transplants – one of which was at the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre. Because he was registered blind, he was a regular patient at the hospital. Everyone at the hospital treated him with kindness and compassion. There was no fault in his care and staff were all very nice to him.

“After he passed away, I wanted to do something to celebrate his life and I thought he would be happy to see me raising funds for BMEC.”

The fundraising campaign has been a remarkable success. At first, Jay aimed to raise around £500 online, but his supporters proved to him that his cause deserved more. The amount has now passed £700 and seems like it won’t stop growing. Jay, his family and friends now believe that they will be able to raise more than £1000 for this cause.

Jay said: “I would like every bit of the funds that I have been raising to go to BMEC. They have done such a wonderful job and I hope that with the money, they will be able to provide even better care to patients.”

Johnny Shah, Head of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust’s Charity – the Trust that manages BMEC, said: “We are so pleased with Jay’s fantastic fundraising efforts and are very thankful for his support to Your Trust Charity. This is a very personal cause for Jay and means so much to him and his family. The money raised will go towards our newly launched Birmingham Midland Eye Centre (BMEC) Appeal, which is raising much needed funds to enhance the care of our patients and their families.

“Jay’s donation will help us fund specialist training for our eye clinic staff, which will add great value to our patient experience. This is a vital part of our 2020 vision as an NHS Trust.”

If you want to support Jay to raise funds for the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre, please visit his Justgiving page at: