Nystagmus Network - Actor to be keynote speaker at NN Open Day

The actor Gerard McDermott will be sharing stories of life with the eye condition nystagmus at the Nystagmus Network Open Day in Newcastle on May 9th.  Nystagmus affects one in 1,000 people, so it’s not surprising Gerard was in his thirties before he met anybody else with it.  Thanks to Nystagmus Network things are different now. The annual Open day is the one place where people with nystagmus are in the majority.

The Nystagmus Network Open Day enables parents of children with the condition to learn from people like Gerard who have had it all their lives.  The event has a reputation for a lively and interactive programme.  Sessions that are always popular such as, ask the expert and benefit advice, are augmented this year by an educational psychologist.

Keynote speaker McDermott proves that nystagmus is no bar to a successful career in TV, radio and on the stage. His CV includes roles in The Archers, Eastenders and Downton Abbey.

Gerard McDermott said: “I was born in the 1950s with Congenital Nystagmus, there was no Nystagmus Network then.  I don’t think I met anyone else with the condition until well into my thirties.  Now, thanks to events like NN’s Open Day, people can meet and learn from the experiences of other people about what it’s like to have nystagmus.”

Richard Wilson, Chairman, Nystagmus Network, said: “We are delighted to have Gerard with us for our Open Day.  If you have never knowingly met anybody else with nystagmus, if you are wondering what the future will be for your little one, then come and learn from the experts - the people who have nystagmus.   The emphasis is very much about meeting and learning with a relaxed atmosphere.”

The Nystagmus Network Open Day is on Saturday, 9 May, at the Centre for Life Newcastle upon Tyne.  Tickets can be bought online from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nystagmus-network-newcastle-open-day-2015-tickets-15275380073.  Prices have once again been held at members £25, non-members £40 and young people 3-16, free.  There will be a free crèche and a drama workshop for older children, places must be booked in advance.

For more information, about Nystagmus Network contact John Sanders, Information and development manager, email: john.sanders@nystagmusnet.org Tel: 029 2045 4242.  Helpline: 0845 634 2630, info@nystagmusnet.org  website: http://www.nystagmusnet.org