Joe Marsden

Joe's fundraiser for Gift of Sight

Fundraising for Gift of Sight
raised of £25,000 target
by 131 supporters
7 marathons in 7 days , 1 September 2024
Gift of Sight

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RCN HMRC Registered
We fund research into blinding eye diseases to find new treatments and therapies



Fundraising for the University of Southampton Gift of Sight Appeal

Our beautiful daughter Raya was born in July 2023, and to our surprise was diagnosed with Albinism. None of our other three children have this condition, so this came as very unexpected news.

Having previously known very little about Albinism, we quickly began our research. It is an inherited genetic condition, characterised by partial or complete absence of pigment in the skin, hair and eyes. One in 17,000 people are born in the UK with Albinism. Heartbreakingly, due to this, children with albinism are also diagnosed visually impaired. This results in lifelong moderate/severe visual impairments, for which there is currently no cure.

Whilst finding out more, we came across Dr Helena Lee and her incredible work at the University of Southampton. Her and her team of scientists have been working hard to find a treatment for albinism, which would help save sight for thousands of children in the UK. She is excitingly close to finding a cure but needs more funding to complete her research.

I was so impressed with Helena and her determination to find a treatment, and so saddened by the thought of children like Raya having visual impairments, that I needed to do something to help.

There are seven types of albinism, which got me thinking...what if I could run seven marathons in seven days across seven cities of the UK whilst raising awareness and funds for this vital research?

A personal, physical challenge for me but the opportunity to make an epic difference to a child’s life, giving them the gift of sight!

So here goes…my training has begun, and from 01-07 September 2024, I will be running a marathon a day in:








I’ll be starting in Southampton as a tribute to Dr Helena, her colleague Dr Jay Self and their team of scientists to thank them for the amazing work they have been doing over the past years. They are so passionate about helping children with albinism and have been so willing to engage with us. My final marathon will take place in my hometown of Liverpool, which will no doubt be an emotional finish.

I have always believed that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything. And with the right training and power of positive thinking, I am determined to achieve this challenge – and make a difference to children like Raya.

Please dig deep and help me to achieve my target. I’ll be incredibly grateful for every single pound donated and your support will be hugely motivational.

The University of Southampton Gift of Sight Appeal (Exempt Charity No. X19140) funds world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness. Funds raised through this campaign will be dedicated to paediatric albinism research.

About the charity

Gift of Sight

Verified by JustGiving

RCN HMRC Registered
The University of Southampton Gift of Sight Appeal funds world-class research into the prevention and treatment of blindness. Research studies include Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), retinal diseases, corneal infections and conditions affecting young children.Thank you for your gift. X19140.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £1,181.50 Gift Aid
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Offline donations

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