Emma Arnold, a mum of two from Hengoed, has signed up to run 26.2 miles in support of blind and partially sighted people across Wales.
Emma, age 33, is lacing up her trainers for our Marathon Mates fundraiser, which calls on people to pair up with a friend, partner, housemate or family member and split the distance of a marathon throughout May.
Inspired by the way many people with sight loss run with a guide runner, participants can choose to run, walk, or jog the distance in their own time and at their own pace.
The challenge supports a cause close to Emma’s heart. Fifteen years ago, she started to notice black spots in her right eye that got progressively worse.
At the University Hospital of Wales Eye Clinic, Emma was told that she had experienced a blood clot at the back of her eye and that her sight could not be saved.
Emma said: “I was devastated. I had just completed my A levels and passed my driving test, then everything was turned upside down.
“Things got even worse when I woke up one night in excruciating pain. I was rushed to hospital where I was told that the pressure in my eye was 58 – the normal range is around 20. I now have no sight at all in my right eye.
“I definitely went through a grieving process. There were dark times and I became very depressed. Thankfully I have a supportive network of family and friends who helped me through.
“I also called the RNIB Helpline – they sent someone out to talk to me and it helped so much. That’s why I’m taking on the Marathon Mates challenge. I want more people to have access to this crucial help.”
Emma is a novice runner and will be running half a mile every day throughout May with her friend and colleague Nadine Borja. Together they hope to raise £150.
We’re delighted that Emma and Nadine are taking on the challenge. We will support them every step of the way and wish them the best of luck