Portsmouth dad to cycle 100 miles for blind daughter

Matthew Wright and daughter Etta
Matthew Wright and daughter Etta
Picture: Vernon Nash

A&E at Queen Alexandra Hospital: Facts and Figures

  • Matthew Wright is taking part in the Prudential Ride London to Surrey on Sunday
  • He is taking part in the fundraiser for the Royal Society for Blind Children
  • The charity supported his family when his daughter Etta was born blind
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A DETERMINED dad is gearing up for a 100-mile cycle ride after getting inspiration from his daughter.

Matthew Wright will be taking part in the Prudential Ride London to Surrey on Sunday to raise money for the Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC).

They have been there to offer help in addition to the support from our local services.

Matthew Wright

The father-of-two chose the charity as his 15-month-old daughter Etta is blind due to a rare condition called Leber Congenital Amaurosis.

Following the diagnosis of the illness, which Etta was born with and there is no cure for, Matthew and his wife Charlotte were helped by the charity’s family support service which provides one-to-one emotional and practical help.

Matthew, from Portsmouth, said: ‘It was RSBC who were first to contact us when we asked for support.

‘They have been there to offer help in addition to the support from our local services.

‘It has been really encouraging to know they are there and will be there for Etta as she grows older.’

Matthew, 35, has raised more than £2,000 after signing up for the cycle ride which starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into the Surrey countryside.

Along with hundreds of other riders, he will finish on The Mall in central London where Charlotte, Etta and their other daughter Kitty will be waiting to cheer him on.

Matthew added: ‘When you ask your child “what’s wrong?” there is an expectation that you, as a parent, will be able to fix whatever is up.

‘But with Etta’s vision this will not be the case.

‘It left us feeling powerless and a little useless but we have learned it is not the end of the world.

‘Indeed, it is just the start of the world for Etta.

‘For her, it will be a world without sight but one that we hope we can make just as stimulating and full of opportunity as it is for a sighted person.

‘We don’t really expect the world to change for Etta but we wouldn’t be doing our job as her family if we didn’t try.

‘It is a challenge but never has there been one more worthwhile.’

The RSBC supports blind and partially-sighted children, young people and their families in England and Wales.

Tim Todhunter, community and events fundraising manager at the charity, said: ‘We wish Matthew and all our cyclists the very best of luck for the event.

‘It’s great that so many supporters have got behind him to ensure that families affected by sight loss continue to get the help they need.’

To make a donation to Matthew visit his Just Giving page at justgiving.com/fundraising/matthew-wright33.