Maria Laborte decided 2020 would be the year she would complete the Great North Run. However, with the recent cancellation of this year’s events, Maria was left wondering how she could put her training to good use.
Being visually impaired, Maria is a patient of Newcastle Hospitals Eye Centre and has first-hand experience of Tynesight, part of Newcastle Hospitals Charity and the work they do. When she heard about the Solo and Virtual events Great North Run were launching she decided to get involved and raise money for the charity.
Maria has suffered from a genetic condition called Reis Buckler corneal dystrophy since she was eighteen and will require treatment from the Newcastle eye clinic for the rest of her life.
“I have been a patient of the eye clinic for a long time now and the staff are excellent, they always go above and beyond for their patients and I really wanted to do something to give back and show my appreciation” said Maria.
“Being visually impaired, I had planned on doing the Great North Run with my daughter so she could help me along the way but with the virtual challenges I have been running on my own.
“The challenge hasn’t been easy as I also have arthritis on both knees and I also have to keep track on my pulse rate whilst running as my heartbeat has been irregular quite recently. But nothing would deter me from completing the challenge, even if it will take 5 hours to finish the half marathon on 13th September.
Maria is now on to her 30th run of the solo challenge which has been great practice for her completing the virtual half marathon in September.
Newcastle Hospitals Charity supports high quality eye care at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
The RVI has one of the largest eye departments in the UK outside London and has built a national reputation for its pioneering research and development of eye services.