THE COURAGE of a partially sighted Leamington schoolboy has led to his teachers and fellow pupils naming Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) Fighting Blindness as their charity for the year.
The parents of Justin Hollingsworth, a 15-year-old who attends Arnold Lodge School in Kenilworth Road, were told when he was just a small boy that he would one day lose his sight.
And yet despite his failing sight, his determination to succeed resulted in him playing for England Visually Impaired Cricket Team in this summer’s Ashes series against Australia.
Headmaster David Williams said: “Justin’s courage has been an inspiration to everyone in the school and we are exceptionally proud of him.
“He does not dwell on his difficulties or ask others to take them into account, he is always cheerful and determined and he is an outstanding role model to other pupils.”
Mr Williams said that 12 years ago Justin’s mother Bev was told that he was going to lose his eyesight as there was no treatment.
“Your son will eventually go blind” was the stark pronouncement.
Since then, Justin’s family have been working hard to raise much-needed funding for research to find a cure for RP - which affects 25,000 people in the UK and is often aggressive in childhood - which leads to blindness in the early adult years.
Mr Williams said: “This is an excellent charity and the staff and pupils are all looking forward to raising a substantial sum of money during this school year,”