Doting daughter to help blind dad take on Great North Run

ALL SET: Kirsty and Charlie Eastwood
ALL SET: Kirsty and Charlie Eastwood

A DOTING daughter is helping her blind, ex-soldier father tackle a half marathon.

Kirsty Eastwood is guiding her dad Charlie around the Great North Run on September 7, as they raise money for Blind Veterans UK..

The annual race, which starts in Newcastle and finishes in South Shields, is something that Charlie, 54, has wanted to do for a number of years.

However, the Hartlepool man needed a guide to be able to run, with daughter Kirsty stepping up.

Kirsty, 26, said: “When he asked me to be his guide I didn’t have to think twice about it.

“He’s so keen about participating and the idea is that we run holding a band, which is how I’ll guide him.”

Charlie, who joined the army in 1976, said: “I’m very excited to participate, especially with my daughter, and especially for a good cause.”

Charlie lost his sight to retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disease that slowly causes blindness.

Kirsty explained that it hit him hard, saying: “He lost the army, his driving license and his independence.

But Charlie thanks the charity he is running for.

He said: “They’ve done a lot for me, before I had their support I was pretty much vegetating.

“After I visited the charity’s training centre they told me what was available and I could start challenging myself.”