Marathon boost for Aberdeen eye research

Marathon boost for Aberdeen eye research

Research into key eye diseases will today get a funding boost thanks to Marathon Oil UK and offshore workers on one of its three platforms.

The oil company along with its main contractor companies working in the Brae field donate a fixed sum of money to charity if the teams on the platforms achieve  an extensive period without a lost time accident.

The charity that benefits when this is achieved is drawn from a hat containing names of charities suggested by workers.

Today (Thursday, Dec 16) Saving Sight in Grampian will be £5,000 better off after Robert Buchan put its name forward.

He was keen to support the local charity - which helps fund leading eye research at the University of Aberdeen - because his youngest daughter has received treatment for the sight threatening eye disease uveitis.

Mr Buchan, a production technician on the Brae Alpha platform, said: “I have been submitting my suggestion of Saving Sight in Grampian for the last few years.

“I chose the charity after spending many days at the eye clinic in Aberdeen with my youngest daughter and only then do you appreciate the work carried out there.

Thanks to the Brae Contractors Safety Alliance scheme we have given donations in the past to Help for Heroes, hospices, a number of different cancer charities and kidney research and I am delighted that Saving Sight in Grampian has now been successful.”

Dr Iain Fraser, Chairman of Saving Sight in Grampian, said: “It is tremendous that Marathon Oil UK is giving us this donation. The money will go towards funds we are raising to buy a new flow cytometer which is an absolutely brilliant piece of equipment in the University’s eye lab which is headed up by Professor John Forrester who is a world leader in uveitis research.

”This piece of outstanding equipment is essential in clinical research including providing rapid analysis of blood samples and advising on which type of treatment is relevant for patients with uveitis, a condition where speed is of the essence if sight is to be saved.”

Eye researchers at the University are investigating a range of conditions including uveitis, diabetes, macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and corneal grafts.

Mr Buchan and his wife Lyn, who live in Fraserburgh, will hand over the donation to Dr Fraser at the University’s Institute of Medical Sciences today at 11am.