"This week is World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week and we are urging all parents to be aware of the symptoms a glow in the eye and a squint being the most reported."
CHECT Chief Executive, Patrick Tonks
County Durham resident, Tim Inness, is digging deep for two bucket-list challenges in a bid to raise vital funds for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT) as World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week 2019 (12th-18th May) is in full swing.
Tim, aged 33, is set to take on the Yorkshire Three Peak challenge on the 25th May, which he aims to complete in under 12 hours. The mission will see him cover 26 miles across Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent, whilst carrying a 15kg rucksack.
And if that wasn’t enough, Tim will then take on the “main event” – a grueling 24km march over Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons – to raise funds for CHECT. Taking place on 29th June, the walk is known as the ‘Fan Dance’ and is used for SAS selection. The challenge is infamous for not only being a test of physical ability but also mental strength, which Tim is aiming to complete in under six hours.
As a store manager for Vision Express in Stockton-on-Tees, Tim has seen the work of CHECT through the optical retailer’s charity partnership. CHECT is a charity dedicated to helping people affected by retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer usually found in babies and children under six. Tim said: “I didn’t know about CHECT before I started working at Vision Express. The partnership is so important because the two organisations working together helps to raise more awareness. Also, it is vital as CHECT isn’t government funded and relies on donations.”
Gearing up for the fundraising feats, Tim said: “I have two daughters, aged three and seven months, and working for Vision Express for the last eight years has highlighted what CHECT can provide, not just for the child but the whole family. It is comforting to know that if Rb did affect either of my girls, CHECT is there to help and support.”
With training underway and going well, Tim said: “I chose the Fan Dance to really push my limits and test myself. There’s a part of the march called 'Jacob’s Ladder', which is the final climb before heading down to the finish. You arrive there around 13 miles in and you have to climb 2,000 steps. It’s the final push and a true mental test, so I hope all the training that has been done prior kicks in.”
CHECT Chief Executive, Patrick Tonks said: “We are so grateful for the work Vision Express has done to raise awareness and invaluable funds for the charity throughout our eight-year partnership and a massive thank you to Tim for going out of his way to fundraise for us. We really wouldn’t be able to help so many children and families without the support of people like Tim.
“Retinoblastoma currently has a 98% survival rate; however, the treatment process can be very challenging – about half of the children have an eye removed to stop the cancer from spreading, which has long term implications for them and their families.
“Retinoblastoma can be very difficult to detect because children often seem perfectly well, and many parents and healthcare professionals have never heard of it. This week is World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week and we are urging all parents to be aware of the symptoms – a glow in the eye and a squint being the most reported – and to have their child checked out if they have any concerns at all.”
To support Tim’s fundraising, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/timothy-inness1
To find out more about CHECT, visit: https://chect.org.uk/