A daughter’s brave journey with blindness has motivated a Kirkcaldy dad to run the race of a lifetime for a charity close to home.
Matt Adams (36), whose daughter, Sophie has a number of complex eye conditions, is preparing to run the 26-mile Edinburgh Marathon at the end of May to raise money for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB).
Sophie (9) was born with bilateral congenital cataracts and had to have her lenses removed as part of two operations when she was aged just four and five weeks old.
She then developed a further complication called aphakic glaucoma which meant she underwent a further six years of care under specialist doctors and surgeons at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Registered blind with severely restricted vision, Sophie attends a mainstream school, St Patrick’s in Lochgelly and inspires her dad by not letting her disability affect her passion for life and talent to learn.
Matt, who works as a senior software designer in The Gyle, Edinburgh and is also a part-time fitness instructor, said: “Sophie is a bright and clever child who doesn’t let her sight loss stand in the way of her progress at school.
“She has helped us understand the challenges faced by everyone living with sight loss and all the things sighted people take for granted.
He added: “Sophie’s proud of me taking on my first marathon to raise awareness of RNIB, who do such invaluable work in supporting children and adults achieve a life of confidence and independence.”
RNIB offers support to around two million people in the UK affected by sight loss.
The national charity provides a range of services including a dedicated Helpline, Talking Books service, emotional support and employment advice.
Sophie is still monitored regularly in Scotland to ensure that the pressure in her eyes doesn’t go up too high - a complication of aphakic glaucoma which could mean her losing her sight altogether.
Meanwhile, Fife Free Press readers can back Matt’s challenge by sponsoring him.
Donate via his JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/mattisrunningamarathon/