Blind veteran in Brighton marathon challenge

A Royal Artillery veteran from Deaf Hill in County Durham is preparing to run the Brighton marathon on April 6th in aid of the charity that helped to bring him back to life after he lost his sight.

David Cranson, 59, who served with the Royal Artillery for four years in the 1970s, lost his sight in 1988 as a result of bilateral optic atrophy, which is a genetic condition that causes deterioration of the optic nerve. Now he plans to take on a challenge of a lifetime and run the Brighton marathon to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.

Blind Veterans UK, a charity David joined in 2007, helps provide free, lifelong emotional and practical support to blind ex-servicemen and women.

David told the Hartlepool Mail "For many years I was going nowhere. I had no life and I genuinely didn't care about what happened to me.

"I began losing my eyesight and I felt extremely sorry for myself. For a long time I felt very low.

"I really feel as though Blind Veterans UK rescued me - they brought me back to life. I have no doubt that I would not be here if it wasn't for them.

"I have learnt so much and come such a long way with them. Through them I have become really active and fit, having not done any physical activities for 20 years!"

The Brighton marathon will not be the first marathon David has entered; he has completed two Great South Runs as well as the London Marathon.

He said: "Taking part in the Brighton Marathon in aid of Blind Veterans UK is my way of saying thank you, and giving something back for every bit of support, encouragement and training they have given me."

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