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Daughter of late blind veteran to complete ultramarathon

Published on 17 Dec 2021

A woman is set to take on a 215-mile race to raise money for Blind Veterans UK in honour of her late father, who we cared for when he lost his sight.

Star Bickerstaff, 29, will run the 215-mile ultramarathon in the new year. She was inspired to raise funds for us after seeing the difference we made to her dad, Paul.

Paul, who joined the Queens Lancashire Regiment in 1987, lost his vision due to Multiple Sclerosis. He joined Blind Veterans UK in 2015, and we continued to support him until he sadly passed away in June. 

Star, who is from Lancashire, says: 

“My dad was my biggest hero and the bravest man I know. From a very young age, I helped look after and care for my wonderful dad, who suffered with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and as a result, went blind”.

Star continues:

“Blind Veterans UK is close to my heart because they really do help! He was a regular visitor to the charity’s Llandudno Centre. It was there - for the first time - myself and my mum received some help with his care. Not only did they provide some well-deserved respite for my mum, but they took the time to get to know my Dad and support him in anyway they could."

Photo of Star, left, and late father Paul, right
Star, left, and her late father Paul, right
“They also spent time with him to enable him to re-engage with his love of painting - provided him with equipment and the knowledge of how he could paint using his mouth. Nothing was ever too much trouble and I have never met such kind and caring people in my life”
Star Bickerstaff

The ultramarathon challenge will be the start of a series of challenges that Star plans on taking part in next year. She says:

“Over the next few years I’m going to be attempting a number of challenges. Other challenge in the pipeline include a Half Iron Man and I will attempt to beat the current World Record for running the Welsh Coastal Path”.

This will not be the first challenge that Star has done for Blind Veterans UK, as last year she took part in another ultramarathon which she completed in 70 hours raising over £3,000. Star says:

“I want to continue to contribute in any way that I can, to ensure that others like my Dad can continue to be supported by the charity.

“As I’m sure others who have cared for loved ones and gone on to lose them will understand, the death of my Dad left me with a huge void to fill and an identity to rebuild – I’d always been known as the girl who cared for her father. Doing these fundraising challenges have allowed me to do that without losing my connection with my Dad. I’m going to put my focus on helping others like him by raising funds for Blind Veterans UK”.

Photo of Star, fundraiser and daughter of late blind veteran Paul after finishing her ultramarathon
Star giving a thumbs up after finishing her last ultramarathon

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