Construction firm boss who lost his sight overnight prepares for 10k run for charity

  • Josh Mackriell lost his sight because of a condition related to his Type 1 Diabetes, as Ravneet Nandra reports for ITV News Anglia.

A former construction boss who lost his sight overnight is taking on a fundraising challenge to thank the charity that has helped him restore his independence.

Josh Mackriell was 29 when he woke up one morning and realised he could not see.

He lost his sight due to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which meant the blood vessels in both of his eyes burst, causing them to fill up with blood, making him blind.

Mr Mackriell, from Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire, had to give up his job running his own construction company. 

Unable to do everyday tasks like he used to, he found support with Cambridgeshire charity, Cam Sight, whose staff made sure he could live normally in his house again, safely and independently. 

"Without them, I don't know where I'd be or where I'd end up without any sight," he said.

Cam Sight's chief executive Antony Moore has been training with Josh ahead of his run. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Now 30, he wants to give something back to the charity and is running 10k at the Northstowe Running Festival on 2 September to raise money.

He will have a running guide with him to help him avoid obstacles such as people and animals, and guide him around the route.

Cam Sight's chief executive Antony Moore has been training with Josh ahead of his run.

He said: "We're tethered together and at first it's all about getting used to the tether and for Josh for me to be his eyes.

"Cam Sight is there to enable people who are blind or have visual impairment to continue living their best life really.

"It's quite common with people with sight loss to never leave the house because it's a scary place and we do our best to make sure that doesn't happen."

Every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. 

More than two million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives, such as not being able to drive. 

An estimated 30,000 people live with sight loss in Cambridgeshire and 1 in 12 adults live with a sight-threatening condition. 

Cam Sight said without bold interventions those figures are set to increase significantly by 2030.

Mr Mackriell wants to raise money for further research so more people are supported. 

He said: "I wanted to give back to Cam Sight as much as I could as they've helped me through everything and been there by my side.

"I'm very excited about the 10k. New challenge, new experience."

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