Bridlington runner Sandra, 71, to tackle London Marathon for the Macular Society

Sandra Orlando
Sandra Orlando

She will be just a few days away from her 72nd birthday when she lines up at the start of the London Marathon in April.

But Sandra Orlando knows that each of the 26 miles ahead of her could be worth £100 for a charity which is close to her heart.

Sandra wants to raise 100 for each of the 26 miles

Sandra wants to raise 100 for each of the 26 miles

Sandra is one of 6.2 million people around the world affected by macular degeneration and she will be running to raise money and awareness for the Macular Society.

“I have macular degeneration and it’s a bit of a Cinderella charity, nobody’s heard of it,” she said.

“It’s the leading cause of sight loss in the UK, there’s no cure, and treatment, if appropriate, is monthly injections in your eye ball. That usually gets people’s attention.”

A member of Bridlington Road Runners, Sandra only started running as a New year’s resolution at the age of 64 , while she was living in America.

Sandra is supporting the Macular Society

Sandra is supporting the Macular Society

Since then, she has completed a streak of more than 500 continuous days of running at least a mile, and qualified to represent England in her age group at the marathon distance.

It was her impressive times that secured her a place at this year’s London Marathon.

She is currently training regularly and can often be spotted banking up the miles around the Saints area of Bridlington, at Sewerby and on the seafront.

But her eye condition is the main factor driving her on.

She said: “I’m one of the lucky ones - only my left eye is affected, and after a couple of years of injections my vision is stable.

“However, my sight will never again be normal, and it could start to deteriorate again at any time. And there’s no guarantee that my right eye will not be affected at some point.

“Although I remain optimistic that I will continue to lead a normal life, I want to take the opportunity now, through my London Marathon run, to raise money towards research into finding a cure and better treatments, and to provide much-needed support for those who have not been as fortunate as I have.

“I am working towards securing donations and sponsorships from corporate entities, but it will be the support of my family, friends, and fellow runners that I know will make the difference.”

You can follow Sandra’s progress at her website www.run4eyes.com, which features a regular blog, and you can donate to her total at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sandra-orlando2