Three friends from Wanborough have set themselves the challenge of climbing Africa’s highest mountain in August 2016 to raise money and awareness of Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetically inherited disease – which currently has no known cure or treatment.
RP destroys the parts of the eye which gives peripheral vision leaving the sufferer with deteriorating tunnel eyesight. It’s the most common form of inherited blindness in the world and next year will be the fortieth anniversary since the charity RP Fighting Blindness was founded.
The Kilimanjaro climb is being organised by Ian Lawrence whose good friend Daniel Hopkins has had RP since 1996. He explained: “I was referred to a consultant who said I had 15 per cent peripheral vision. You need 80 per cent so immediately he said I couldn’t drive any longer which meant I lost my job at a company in Bicester.”
Although he now runs two successful construction supply companies, Dan struggles in crowded environments and is virtually blind in the dark and has recently been re-registered as SSI (severely sight impaired).
Ian said: “We’ve already received massive support for our trek next year; so many people realise that sight is such a fundamental requirement. This challenge will help RP Fighting Blindness continue its work to find a cure for both Dan and all those suffering from this cruel disease.
Help the team at: www.justgiving.com/IRLawrence
Pictured top, mountain trekkers Ian Lawrence, Dan Hopkins and Becky Prince
Fundraising events coming up in support of the RP Kilimanjaro challenge:
Bag pack at Tesco’s Ocotal Way on 22 November, 10am to 1pm
Bacon butties at Wanborough Farmers Market on 21 November, 9am to 12noon
Carol Singing, hot dogs, mince pies, mulled wine at the Wanborough Village Hall on Sunday 20 December, 4pm to 6pm