Fifty five year old Chris Mairs with his friend Guy Simpson are riding their tandem 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats this summer. They plan to complete the route in a tough 10 days, commencing on 23 August 2012. Chris is blind having lost his sight as a result of a rare degenerative eye condition.
They hope to raise £100,000 for Fight for Sight – the UK charity that funds pioneering research to prevent sight loss and treat eye disease. All funds raised will be used for research including supporting a Fulbright – Fight for Sight Scholarship for a UK researcher to work with one of the world’s most eminent researchers into gene therapy for eye disease at the University of Florida.
Chris, a technologist and entrepreneur in the computer industry, is determined to raise funds for pioneering research to help prevent people losing their sight from a variety of degenerative diseases, including the most common form of sight loss in the UK – age-related macular degeneration.
Guy is a personal fitness trainer. His grandfather developed glaucoma in later life and this has prompted him to support Fight for Sight. He has already run several London marathons on behalf of the charity.
As Chris says: “From personal experience I know that blindness is a socially isolating, debilitating and frankly sometimes downright frightening condition. I have been very fortunate to have a demanding job and active social life, but those who lose their sight in later life will often not be so lucky.
“Our punishing schedule of 100 miles per day will be a real test. I’m more worried by my ageing frame with two artificial hips and many years of misuse and abuse than I am by my blindness. Guy is 10 years my junior and with his day job as a personal fitness trainer he’s been ideally placed to pull us through our demanding training plan over the past 6 months.”
For more information about Chris and Guy’s ride check out www.keepyoureyesopen.org.uk