"I wanted to give back to a charity who does so much to help those with sight loss"

Posted: Thursday 09 May 2019

The daughter of a Macular Society group leader will be following in her family's footsteps this weekend as she takes on the Leeds Half Marathon, to support her mum and others affected by the condition. 

Isabelle Cernis has been busy training for the race, which will be her first ever half marathon. 

She is the latest member of her family to take on a fundraising challenge for the Society. Her sister Danni, mum Sarah and brother-in-law Neil Cowan have all taken part in races to help beat macular disease, raising a total of £3,000. 

She said: "I decided to take on this challenge to raise money for the Macular Society because I wanted to give back to a charity who does so much to help those with sight loss, including my mum. 

“Running my first half marathon will be a challenge, but it will definitely be worth it.”

Isabelle's mum, Sarah was born with congenital cataracts. She has since been diagnosed with a rare form of macular disease and glaucoma. She turned to the Macular Society when her eyesight suddenly worsened.

Sarah said: “I’ve always been partially sighted, but I suffered significant sight loss six years ago. I joined the Society when I realised it was going to be permanent.”

Sarah went along to our support groups, where she gained confidence and – encouraged by regional manager, Michelle Dutton – launched the Leeds Working Age Macular Group in September 2014.

She added: "Apart from sharing practical coping strategies, it’s about friendship and empathy, and we have shared a lot over the last four years.”

The family’s fundraising originally got under way when daughter Danni ran the 2014 Great Manchester 10k, followed by the Leeds 10k and Leeds Half Marathon.

Now it's Isabelle turn to take on the 13.1mile challenge and join more than 7,000 other runners. 

Proud mum, Sarah added: “I get massive support from all of my family. The idea to run for research came from them and they have been my guide runners and my inspiration ever since. I am hugely proud of Isabelle taking on this half marathon; she has put a lot of time and effort into training because she understands how important eye research is to so many of us.”

To sponsor Isabelle, please visit her Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/Isabelle-Cernis

If you would like to run