A Mother’s Race to the Stones to Help Daughter’s Fight for Sight
Running 100km in a day for eye research
A mother is aiming to run 100km to raise awareness of her daughter’s fight for sight and raise vital funds for eye research.
Catherine Parsi, 34, from St Albans, is aiming to complete the normally two-day Race to the Stones endurance event in just 24 hours on 16 July. Catherine is not shy of a challenge having completed the entire course of the London Marathon blind-folded in 2014 raising £5k for the charity Fight for Sight.
In 2012 Catherine gave birth to twins, Sienna and Joshua, prematurely at 28 weeks and after spending 50 days in a special care unit they were due be discharged at 39 weeks. It was during this week the family found out that Sienna’s eyes hadn’t formed correctly and this had left her with an eye condition, called retinopathy of prematurity.
Catherine said “Given the diagnosis that Sienna may never be able to see and that she would be lucky to have navigation vision and light perception was very hard to come to terms with. Today Sienna only has a small pocket of light perception in her left eye and relies on a white cane to gain more independence when out and about. We support Fight for Sight because it’s the main UK based charity that funds research into finding a cure for sight loss.”
Sienna is only three years old but has had to have laser eye surgery, which was a major operation on someone so small. In most cases this method is usually successful but unfortunately it didn’t work for Sienna, who has had to have additional operations to try and save her remaining sight.
Catherine aims to run the majority of course along the Ridgeway, described as Britain’s oldest road, running from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire to the North Wessex Downs. She will be joined by her Uncle John, 47, from Lincolnshire, who inspired her to take up running challenges for the charity and Jane, 51, from Watford.
Catherine added: “We’ve set ourselves our biggest running challenge to date-to run 100km miles. This will be the toughest event the three of us have every tried to tackle, but for us this challenge will be over in a day, whilst for Sienna and others with a visual impairment their challenge will be life-long unless a cure can be found.”