Edinburgh dad raising funds for treatment to stop blindness

A father who faces losing his eyesight completely before the age of 40 is taking  on a 10 mile run in the heart of Edinburgh. Picture: COntributed.

A father who faces losing his eyesight completely before the age of 40 is taking on a 10 mile run in the heart of Edinburgh. Picture: COntributed.

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A DAD who faces losing his eyesight completely before the age of 40 is taking on a ten-mile run in the heart of Edinburgh to raise money to pay for specialist treatment.

Jay Semple was diagnosed in 2013 with a condition called choroideremia, which affects the blood vessels surrounding the retina and can lead to complete blindness.

The father-of-one, who lives in Glasgow, has completed more than 80 runs for charity since 2009, but is taking on more than 30 events this year to raise enough money to see an eye specialist.

His ultimate goal is to be able to see his son Tyler James’ face again, after his eyesight was reduced to a blur of shapes during a charity runs three years ago.

One of Jay’s many challenges will be the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run which takes place on Sunday, April 23, which he intends to take on as part of his training for the Stirling Scottish Marathon in May, his longest run to date. Jay said: “It would be amazing to see again. I want to see my son again.

“I can make out the outline of his body but I can’t see his eyes or his wee face.

“I haven’t seen that since 2014 so it would be amazing to see him again. I have big hopes and big dreams and this is the biggest yet.”

As his eyesight started to fail, Jay challenged himself to complete four half-marathons around the United Kingdom in what he called “Jay’s Four Nation Sensation”.

In a cruel twist of fate, it was the final stretch of his last half marathon, in Cardiff, where his eyesight was to deteriorate to the level it is now.

He said: “I knew it was getting worse so I set up Jay’s Four Nation Sensation and took part in a half-marathon in every country in the UK.

“My final half-marathon was in Cardiff and as I came down the finishing straight, it went blurry. I crashed into a load of runners at the end and although my eyesight returned for a short time afterwards, it soon went back to how it was at the finish.”

Jay will join more than 4000 others for the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run when it returns to the Capital.

The event features the traditional ten-mile distance and this year will also featurea brand new five-mile route. It remains the only run that takes participants through the heart of Edinburgh city centre.

Runners get the unique opportunity to take on the course that is steeped in history, where they pass the iconic Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and Greyfriars Bobby.

The event is the perfect training run for those looking to take on a marathon distance in the coming months.

Jay now takes on running events with a guide runner, attached by bungee cord, which is how he will take on the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run.

Entries for the Simplyhealth Great Edinburgh Run are open. Enter at: Greatrun.org/Edinburgh