Chris Arnold has been a Service Advisor at Greenhous Vauxhall in Trench Lock, Telford for the past 11 years and he has taken the decision to run this year’s London Marathon in aid of research into a debilitating degenerative disease which leads to sight loss.
Chris explains the reasons for his entry into the London Marathon thus: “I ran the Virgin Money London Marathon 2021 in aid of RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) a charity that personally means a lot to my family. Just over two years ago my eldest daughter Sophie was diagnosed with a rare genetic eye condition called Stargardt Macular Dystrophy, she has the Fundus Flavimaculatus form of the condition in which could result in even more severe vision loss.
“Stargardt is a disease that causes progressive degeneration of the macula, which is a small area in the centre of the retina that is responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision. Within 18 months Sophie was certified legally blind at the young age of 14 years old. To say our lives have been a rollercoaster these last two years would be an understatement.
“I’m meant to be her Hero, but she is mine. She is an absolute inspiration and every day she continues to reach for the stars. I ran the London Marathon on Sunday 3 rd October for my daughter Sophie and for everyone else suffering with sight loss. Only now do I understand the true impact it has on people’s lives.
“I hoped to raise as much money as possible in aid of RNIB with a sponsorship target of £2000. I have exceed that and over the moon, with current monies raised at £4,122”
“Thank you for taking the time to read my reasons for running the Virgin Money London Marathon 2021. And thank you for your support.”
Sophie is a confident singer and attends performing arts classes with her sister Imogen and brother Ben. Sophie and her mother, Vanessa, went down to London to support Dad Chris for the race. Chris was fortunate enough to get a place for the London Marathon last year after 6 tries through the ballot process. This year he is 40 and it is the 40th running of the London Marathon. Chris had a place courtesy of the RNIB for whom he is raising much needed funds.
Running seems to be a family trait as both Chris’s father and brother have competed in marathons. Chris has completed 105 Park Runs, the 10km runs at Shrewsbury and Market Drayton and the Ironbridge Half Marathon, so he has a good pedigree in running.