Teenager with degenerative eye condition to jump 10,000ft

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 my speciality. I have always wanted to do a skydive and thought why not do it for charity.”

Matthew is studying animal management.

He said: “Obviously I won’t be able to drive and it made school a little bit tricky but I’m coping.”

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 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 support Matthew go to www.justgiving.com/matthew-panting1.

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