My name is Mark Baxter and from an early age I was diagnosed with a deteriorating retinal eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa or RP for short, which will slowly lead to blindness.
With no night vision and very limited peripheral vision I can appreciate how emotionally and physically frustrating living, learning and working with a sensory disability can be. To remain optimistic, positive and active I focus on helping and inspiring others with whatever disability or life challenges they are faced with.
For over a decade I have been volunteering my free time, knowledge and life experiences to the visual impairment and sight loss charity sector, which includes fundraising, promoting awareness and campaigning. I have completed fundraising challenges and running events such as the London Marathon, Nike 10km and Superhero 10km, three tandem skydives, treks across the Sahara Desert, over UK’s Three Peaks and 60km across Iceland. This year I plan to complete my first Wing Walk to celebrate Deafblind Awareness Week.
I am also a volunteer for the Retina UK Befriending Service.
For my continued support, commitment and dedication to Retina UK, I was proud and honoured to receive the 2016 Lynda Cantor Foundation Future of the Charity Award.
With each day that passes my eyesight gets a little worse, causing difficulties doing everyday tasks I used to do with ease. To keep some of my independence I turn to DIY; I have taught myself skills like tiling, carpentry, floor and carpet laying, and with every job I complete I share the results on social media to prove sensory disabilities do not have to impact lives and to inspire others try new things.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my story, if you require any further information then please do not hesitate to contact me.