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Marathon runner with sight loss wins Coronavirus Hero Award

Lizzie Tovey, 47, from Worcestershire has won an RNIB See Differently ‘Coronavirus Heroes’ Award for her ongoing fundraising efforts during the pandemic.

Lizzie, who is partially sighted, was due to run the 2020 London Marathon for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), after receiving support from the charity when she was diagnosed with the sight condition glaucoma.

Earlier this year, Lizzie had to defer her place after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. However, when the event was cancelled in light of the coronavirus pandemic, Lizzie resumed her training and took part in the 2.6 challenge at the end of April.

She took on the challenge between her fourth and fifth chemotherapy cycles and raised £2,500 for RNIB.

Having initially found it difficult to run after losing her sight, Lizzie was determined to help others with sight loss participate in the sport. Through her fundraising efforts, she has raised over £24,000 for RNIB, Guide Dogs and Macmillan over the past two years.

RNIB’s See Differently ‘Coronavirus Heroes’ Awards took place in November and aimed to shine a spotlight on the people and organisations who have stepped up to help, support and find solutions to the challenges faced by people with sight loss during the pandemic. It also recognised the blind and partially sighted people who have gone above and beyond to help others through this uncertain time.

Lizzie, who has won in the Best Community Contribution category, said: “I was completely blown away to find out I’d won RNIB’s See Differently ‘Coronavirus Heroes’ Award. I really did not expect to win, so it came as a massive surprise and I feel incredibly humbled to have won.”

Lorna Forbes, Head of Integrated Marketing at RNIB, said: “We’re delighted to announce Lizzie as the winner in the Best Community Contribution category. Her fundraising efforts during what has been a tough year have touched us all, we couldn’t be more grateful for her support and efforts in 2020.

“This year has been challenging for everyone but hearing about the amazing achievements of Lizzie and our other outstanding individuals and organisations goes to show the lengths people have gone to in order to support others. Congratulations once again to Lizzie on her win!”