St Albans Mum moved to run 100km race in 24 hours for daughter’s ‘fight for sight’

Catherine Parsi and her daugher Sienna - Emma Fletcher Photography

Catherine Parsi and her daugher Sienna - Emma Fletcher Photography - Credit: Archant

A mother whose daughter is partially blind will be running a 100km two day race in 24 hours to raise vital funds for eye research.

Catherine Parsi, 34, of St Albans, hopes to complete the Race to the Stones endurance event, which usually takes two days, in just 24 hours this Saturday (16).

She is taking part to raise money for eye research charity Fight for Sight as her own daughter is fighting to save her remaining sight.

Catherine prematurely gave birth to twins Sienna and Joshua in 2012 and after spending 50 days in a special care unit they were due to be discharged at 39 weeks.

Then the family was hit with the news that Sienna’s eyes hadn’t formed correctly and she was left with an eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity.

Catherine said: “Given the diagnosis that Sienna may never be able to see and that she would be lucky to have navigation vision and light perception was very hard to come to terms with.

“Today Sienna only has a small pocket of light perception in her left eye and relies on a white cane to gain more independence when out and about. We support Fight for Sight because it’s the only UK-based charity that funds research into finding a cure for sight loss.”

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Sienna, now three, has had laser eye surgery which, in most cases, is usually successful but it did not work for her

She has since had to have additional operations to try and save her remaining sight.

Catherine aims to run the majority of course along the Ridgeway, described as Britain’s oldest road, running from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire to the North Wessex Downs.

She will be joined by her uncle John, 47, from Lincolnshire, who inspired her to take up running challenges for the charity and friend Jane, 51, from Watford.

Catherine added: “We’ve set ourselves our biggest running challenge to date to run 100km miles. This will be the toughest event the three of us have every tried to tackle, but for us this challenge will be over in a day, while for Sienna and others with a visual impairment their challenge will be lifelong unless a cure can be found.”

If you would like to sponsor Catherine, click here.