Published: 17 August, 2012
BLIND people in Islington are supporting journalist Joe Churcher as he prepares to walk 200 miles through some of Britain's greatest scenery to raise money for charity.
Mr Churcher, who is chief political correspondent for the Press Association, has restricted vision.
He will set off on Monday to walk for 10 days right across England from the coast of Cumbria to the North Yorkshire seaside with a group that includes four people who are totally blind.
They are raising funds for research into Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a genetic condition that can lead to a gradual loss of sight.
Mr Churcher, 40, who lives in neighbouring Crouch End, said: “It is going to be a challenge not to stumble over obstacles and we will be describing the wonderful scenery to those who can’t see at all.”
John Thomas, from the Islington RP group, said as many as 20,000 people in the UK are affected by the disease, which is one of the most significant causes of blindness in children and people of working age. At present there is no proven cure or treatment.
Mr Thomas added: “Recent months have seen exciting developments in research, not least the advances in bionic eyes, retinal implants, gene therapy and stem-cell techniques that have helped RP mice see in the dark.”
• Anyone who wants to sponsor Joe can do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/joechurcher
• For further information contact Joe on 07971 611493 or RP Fighting Blindness on 01280 821334, or visit www.rpfightingblindness.org.uk