A St Annes woman will take on an enormous 215-mile ultra-marathon in support of her blind veteran dad.
Star Bickerstaff, 29, lost her dad Paul in June last year. She now hopes to raise a hefty sum for the charity which supported him in his later years as he lost his eyesight due to multiple sclerosis.
Star, a mum of four who lives on Tudor Road, said: “My dad was my biggest hero and the bravest man I know. From a very young age, I helped look after and care for my wonderful dad, who suffered with MS and as a result, went blind”.
Paul, who joined the Queens Lancashire Regiment in February 1987, started to receive help from Blind Veterans UK, which provides rehabilitation, training, practical advice and emotional support to ex-servicemen and women of all ages, in 2015.
Star and her dad Paul, who died age 63 last year
Star’s ultra-marathon run will be the first of a series of a multiple different physical challenges she intends to take on throughout 2022 with the aim of raising at least £1,000 for the charity.
She said: “Blind Veterans UK is close to my heart because they really do help. He was a regular visitor to the charity’s Llandudno Centre. It was there - for the first time - myself and my mum received some help with his care. Not only did they provide some well-deserved respite for my mum, but they took the time to get to know my dad and support him in anyway they could.
“They also spent time with him to enable him to re-engage with his love of painting – provided him with equipment and the knowledge of how he could paint using his mouth. Nothing was ever too much trouble and I have never met such kind and caring people in my life”
She added: “Over the next few years I’m going to be attempting a number of challenges. Other challenge in the pipeline include a Half Iron Man and I will attempt to beat the current world record for running the Welsh Coastal Path.”
Star in her running kit
This will not be the first challenge that Star has done for Blind Veterans UK, as last year she took part in another ultra-marathon which she completed in 70 hours raising over £3,000.
She said: “I want to continue to contribute in any way that I can, to ensure that others like my dad can continue to be supported by the charity.
“As I’m sure others who have cared for loved ones and gone on to lose them will understand, the death of my Dad left me with a huge void to fill and an identity to rebuild – I’d always been known as the girl who cared for her father. Doing these fundraising challenges have allowed me to do that without losing my connection with my Dad. I’m going to put my focus on helping others like him by raising funds for Blind Veterans UK”.