Supporters of Chloe’s Fight For Sight walked along Eastbourne seafront with restricted vision to raise awareness of blindness.
Among the dozens taking part was reporter Juliet Mead who had her sunglasses altered and walked a mile in Chloe’s shoes.
“When I found out Chloe Laslett had lost nearly all her vision due to a rare condition called Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, I was surprised at how well the 20-year-old was coping.
I wrote the stories about Chloe when she was first diagnosed with the condition last year and although she and her family had been through an emotional rollercoaster, she amazed me with how she managed to carry on regardless. Chloe, who lives in Hampden Park with her family, continued with her Sussex Downs College course in catering and got around with the help of a specially made pink cane.
Chloe was awarded an Eastbourne Herald Achievers Award earlier this year for being such an inspirational young person. So when Jayne Bigsby, a Polegate woman who supports the charity, decided to organise the Walk a Mile in My Shoes event, I was keen to find out exactly what Chloe goes through.
We all set off from the pier and I had two stickers across my sun glasses, which meant I had some peripheral vision but was unable to see what was straight ahead of me. My husband Al guided me along the seafront and had to tell me as we approached obstacles, including kerbs, dogs and even small children.
All the participants walked together, with Chloe leading the group, which made for a really good atmosphere and meant I could often hear the people in front of me which really helped.
While I made it from the pier to the Wish Tower Slope without a problem, I do not think that would have been the case if I was walking on my own with just a cane to guide me and I have great admiration for the way Chloe copes.
Not only that, but it was a beautiful sunny day and when I took off the glasses I could see the lovely views our seafront has to offer. It is something I take for granted but Chloe and others like her do not have the option to remove the glasses.”