Teen with rare eye conditon to take part in 10,000ft plane jump to fight blindness (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Teenager Matthew Panting to take part in 10,000ft plane jump to raise money for RP Fighting Blindness
2:00pm Sunday 27th April 2014 in News
A TEENAGER from Verwood with a rare eye condition is jumping 10,000ft from a plane to raise money for charity.
Matthew Panting is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for RP Fighting Blindness, a charity which researches treatments for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).
The 18-year-old, who was diagnosed with the degenerative condition two years ago, said: “Despite my poor vision I love adrenaline-fuelled sports, with mountain biking being my speciality. I have always wanted to do a skydive and thought why not do it for charity.”
The youngster, who is studying animal management at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, said following his diagnosis he has learnt to live with the condition, which can cause blindness.
“Obviously I won’t be able to drive and it made school a little bit tricky but I’m coping,” he said.
RP Fighting Blindness supports those affected by the condition and funds research into possible future treatments.
Currently there are no treatments that will halt the progress of RP or reverse its effects.
Mr Panting, who has already raised more than £200 in sponsorship, plans to do the skydive in June at the Old Sarum Airfield in Salisbury. His jump will also form part of a world record attempt.
He said: “I have always wanted to do a skydive and I decided to go one better by taking part in a world record attempt for the most tandem skydives in a day.”
He added: “I'm not nervous yet but I probably will be on the day.”
To visit Mr Panting’s fundraising page go to justgiving.com/matthew-panting1
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