Leicester man to run London Marathon for military charity

25 February 2016 10:41

A man from Leicester is taking on the London Marathon this April for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-Service men and women.

Chris Barker, 24, wants to honour his grandfather who served in the Second World War by raising vital money for Blind Veterans UK while challenging himself to run 26 miles.

Chris' challenge is even greater as he suffers from congenital heart disease. It was first diagnosed when he was just two years old and his heart failed after simply cutting his finger. He has had five different replacement surgeries over the year but now is determined to work on his fitness.

He says: "I took part in the Leicester marathon a few years ago but had to pull out at 14 miles because of an injury.

"I'm very much looking forward to the London Marathon and participating in an event I've wanted to be part of for many years."

Chris is looking to raise £2000 for Blind Veterans UK because he wants to give back to those who served our country. A major inspiration to Chris is his grandfather Herbert who served in the Royal Lancashire Regiment during the Second World War.

Chris says: "I want to thank those who fought for our country while risking their own life. It's because of them defending our country that I am able to live my life."

Blind Veterans UK was founded in 1915 and the charity's initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in World War I. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning World War II to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For more than a century, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision-impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

Chris says: "The veterans Blind Veterans UK supports have amazing stories and I'm humbled I'll be able to support them by running the London Marathon."

To support Chris as he runs the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK, please visit www.justgiving.com/Chris-Barker12.