A teenager from Northampton who pledged to finish a London Marathon when she started to lose her sight is now preparing to run the 26 miles blind.
Charlotte Webber’s eyesight had been deteriorating from the age of four, and at age nine she was registered blind, though she still had some vision.
Then when she was 11,she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a degenerative eye disease.
In 2007 her mum, Lucy, ran the London Marathon to raise funds for a local charity which supports visually-impaired youngsters. That was when Charlotte said she would like to do the same when she was old enough.
Lucy said: “Charlotte said if she couldn’t see by then I’d have to be her guide.
“I hoped we wouldn’t be at the stage of me having to guide her or that she’d change her mind or forget about her pledge. Sadly she lost the remainder of her sight just before her 14th birthday, leaving her with only light perception, but she hasn’t given up on the marathon.”
Lucy and Charlotte, now 18, will be raising funds and awareness for the charity, RP Fighting Blindness. They have already raised more than two thirds of their target of £3,000.
Lucy said: “Neither of us are runners so it’s a massive undertaking, but it’s something that we feel is important, especially if it means that other people won’t have to experience what Charlotte went through.”
Most of Charlotte’s marathon training is on a treadmill, but when she runs with her mum they use a wrist strap to keep together.
Lucy said: “Crossing the finish line together will be a big achievement and a very proud moment for both of us.”
To sponsor Lucy and Charlotte visit: www.justgiving.com/Charlotte-Webber2