Going the Distance to Help Tommy’s Fight for Sight
Fundraisers to tackle London Marathon
A team of runners will go the distance for the UK’s main eye research charity Fight for Sight, at the Virgin London Marathon, on Sunday 24 April.
The team including Meghan Cole, 22, from Sidcup, is hoping to cross the finish line with boyfriend Sam Pulman, 23, from Dartford, along with Fred Roberts, 20, from Swanley and Zoe Cleghorn, 27, from Leeds. They will join thousands of runners taking part in the gruelling 26.2 mile challenge across the capital.
They will be running for Tommy Salisbury, 16, from Bexley, who was diagnosed with a blinding eye condition, called choroideremia, when he was four years old.
In 2005 Tommy’s mum, Emma and his grandmother, Dot Grindley, set up the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund via Fight for Sight. The family are determined to raise awareness of the condition that affects 1 in 50,000 people and support eye research, so Tommy can have a future he can see.
The family has raised an incredible £460k to date and helped to fund Professor Miguel Seabra research, at Imperial College London. This initial work led to the world-first clinical trial into the condition, led by Professor Robert MacLaren and his team at Oxford University. The trial has shown positive results and with a phase II trial about to begin we have never been closer to finding a treatment.
This is the longest distance Zoe has run having completed a half marathon for the charity previously. Zoe, who works at Bibby Financial Services, said: “I’m constantly inspired by the work that the Salisbury family does in raising money for Fight for Sight and Tommy’s fund. It’s an amazing cause and Fight for Sight doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves – a marathon is a massive challenge and I can’t wait to run for the charity.”
Fred, a PE teacher, who is Emma’s second cousin, said: “I have always been aware of Tommy’s condition and seen how much effort the family has put in to raising awareness and vital funds to support eye research. I was keen to go the distance and help contribute by running my first marathon.”
Meghan, a receptionist for Flint Insurance, added: “I wanted to run the London Marathon to help support Fight for Sight and Tommy’s fund. The family has made a tremendous effort in helping to shape eye research into Tommy’s condition and I was keen to get involved and help in any way I could.”
Catherine Woodhead, Director of Fundraising at Fight for Sight, said: "We are grateful to the Team Tommy runners for their continued support in helping the fight against sight loss. The charity relies on people like Meghan, Sam and Fred to help raise funds for vital eye research and help get us a step closer to creating a future everyone can see. Very best of luck and we will be there cheering you on every step of the way.”