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Dawn & RP Fighting Blindness

Dawn & RP Fighting Blindness

I have been asked to write a blog about Retinitis Pigmentosa. This is James, Stanley & Co.’s chosen charity for their “£ per like” of their Facebook page, which is running for the period of Lent.

 

The Charity


RP Fighting Blindness is a respected medical research charity and a nationwide organisation providing support and information, that seek to help patients live with RP and fund cutting edge research into the causes of and potential treatments for the disease.


Effects of the eye disorder


Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the name given to a group of inherited conditions of the retina that all lead to a gradual progressive reduction in vision. Difficulties with night vision and peripheral ('side') vision are the first things that are noticed. Later, reading vision (detailed vision), colour vision, and central ('straight-ahead') vision are affected. The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies - for example with the different genetic types - the condition varies per the individual but can be aggressive in some cases. There is a very good website which the charity has set up to explain the condition, help newly diagnosed patients and families and there is a helpline which is also run by the charity. Please go to www.rpfightingblindness.org.ukfor more details. In approximately half of all cases there are other family members with RP.

 RP affects approximately 1 in 3,000 to 4,000 people and there are over 25,000 sufferers in the

UK alone.


My Family and the effects RP has on them


I have grown up being aware of RP from a young age as my dad suffers with this hereditary eye disorder.  Now at the age of 76 dad has been registered blind for a number of years.


Dad trained as an electrician and qualified when he was 21 years old and did work as an electrician for a while, one of his first jobs was working on the Inland Revenue offices in Birmingham city centre.  He soon started to realise that with his eye condition he could not carry on with this type of work especially as the nights drew in and one of the first things an RP sufferer has to get used to is night blindness.  He went on to do factory work for many years and helped mom out with the running of our corner shop. My dad is the type of person that will not let his disability hold him back and some of the things he has participated in, you would find hard to believe a visually impaired person could do, things such as the everyday task of cleaning (even now he gets the ladders out to clean the windows) to helping out with building work, cutting down trees, erecting fences, driving on the beach at Borth (it was a very deserted beach and a brave co-pilot), only a couple of years ago he went up to the top of the climbing frame in Brueton park and many,  many more.


My 18 year old nephew has unfortunately inherited the disorder and at present Justin is doing an apprenticeship in Sports Turf Management and he is studying at Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire and working at Leamington Cricket Club. He has almost completed level 2 and is hoping to continue into level 3. He has played cricket with Warwickshire Bears Visually Impaired team from the age of 13 years and made his debut with the England Visually Impaired team in 2012 at just 15 years of age.   He has not long returned from the World Cup tour of South Africa.  Justin received a special award as he starred in the triumph over Australia that confirmed England’s place in the last four, hitting 144 off 119 balls. Unfortunately they were knocked out by Pakistan in the Semi-finals.  Justin has again been selected to be part of the India series which will be held in England in May of this year.  If you have never watched a blind cricket match I strongly suggest you add it to your bucket list.

England Visually Impaired Squad For 2014 World Cup

Justin is on the back row; second one in from the right.


Family fundraising


My mom & dad Betty and Dave Winsper together with another couple Roger & Margaret Green actually formed the first Midlands branch of the RP society as it was known back then some 40 years ago.


Fundraising for RP has been part of family life for many years and Dad and all our family and friends have done a variety of events.  Dad completed the London Marathon many times in his younger days, rode on a tandem from John O’Groats to Land’s End twice, walked around the Isle of Skye, did a 100K walk in Namibia, we hold annual skittle evenings(where some of the blind people actually do better than the sighted people), have collecting days galore, held charity balls, Christmas fayres and this year my husband Ian and eldest son Ethan are taking part in a 10,000 feet skydive on 20thJune, if anyone would  like to sponsor him please click on the following link http://www.doitforcharity.com/IPrice.


If you'd like to support this charity, click here to like James, Stanley & Co's Facebook page. Each new like will contribute £1 toward their goal of £500 for RP Fighting Blindness.

 


 

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