Pair to run 5km blind for kids’ sight charity

Two Heckington women are in training to do a 5km run for charity - blindfolded.

Cheryl Coaton, 36, and friend Amanda Mecklenburgh, 53, have pledged to run around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on November 4 for the Royal Blind Society for Children.

Amanda and Cheryl in action.

Amanda and Cheryl in action.

The pair will take turns to wear the blindfold, the other acting as guide, doing half the distance each.

They have been inspired to do it as Cheryl’s five-year-old daughter Lily was born with bilateral coloboma - she has holes in the retina of her eye.

Cheryl said: “It is a one in 10,000 chance. We didn’t know anything until she was nearly three. She carried on as normal and is very clever, but would occasionally walk into the door frame or stand too close to the television.

“She cannot cope with bright light without wearing her glasses or a hat.”

Amanda Mecklenburgh, Cheryl Coaton and her daughter Lily, 5.

Amanda Mecklenburgh, Cheryl Coaton and her daughter Lily, 5.

Lily has a long cane to help guide her and the family get support from the Lincolnshire sensory service.

The Royal Blind Society for Children currently helps a few families in the county. They believe there are 421 families in Lincolnshire eligible for support due to children with visual impairment.

The pair hope to raise £400 which would help provide two families with support calls and visits for a year.

Cheryl and Amanda have been practising running around the village.

Cheryl said: “You can appreciate your other senses more. Your hearing intensifies. I will know there is a car coming before Amanda, but the other day it was raining and windy and that was awful. That is when you have to have complete trust in your guide, going around corners and down kerbs. Once we get into it we are not much off our normal running pace.”

You can sponsor them at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cheryl-coaton