David's sight loss marathon in Market Drayton park thanks charity that helped him

A Market Drayton man's "sight loss marathon" has been a walk in the park.

Completing a marathon over seven days, raising money for RNIB, severely visually impaired David Smith, at Market Drayton Town Park
Completing a marathon over seven days, raising money for RNIB, severely visually impaired David Smith, at Market Drayton Town Park

Market Drayton’s Town Park has been the setting for a charity fund raising event this month.

Local resident David Smith has undertaken a marathon for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) from October 14 to 20, by making six kilometre circuits of the park each day from 10.30am.

Helen Smith, David's wife, said the funds have been going up and that David was looking forward to his last day, where he would be joined by local schoolchildren to complete the mission.

Completing a marathon over seven days, raising money for RNIB, severely visually impaired David Smith, at Market Drayton Town Park

"We are on the way to £3,000 which is great," Helen said. "I go along with a collection box and sit on the bench while David walks around the park. I did walk with him sometimes, but this week the weather wasn't great.

"So this week there haven't been too many people coming through the park but on the last day we have school children coming from the local primary school coming in groups of 10 to walk with David.

"It's because they know him as he often goes into the schools as part of the remembrance services.

Completing a marathon over seven days, raising money for RNIB, severely visually impaired David Smith, at Market Drayton Town Park

"I was hoping to encourage people to come at the end to clap and say well done at about 11.50am on Wednesday. Certain people have been walking around with him on different days which has been so nice.

"He is quite well known for walking around the park. The whole challenge has been going really well. The RNIB have helped tremendously, especially over the last year while he has been losing more of his sight. They have helped take away that anxiety and fear."

David, who is 78 and severely visually impaired, is a mentor at the Grove School and a member of Market Drayton Community Enterprise along with other community organisations, David has had eyesight difficulties since the age of ten.

Completing a marathon over seven days, raising money for RNIB, severely visually impaired David Smith, at Market Drayton Town Park

Having experienced rapidly worsening myopia in his teens and retinal detachments in his early twenties, leading to total blindness in his left eye and only partial sight in his right, he began to develop macular degeneration in 2012.

As a consequence he is now unable to read print or recognise faces.

People can donate money to his JustGiving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/david-smith393. Alternatively you can forward cheques, made payable to the RNIB, to RNIB, 85 Longslow Road, Market Drayton, TF9 3BP.

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