He's registered blind - but Mark Baxter's wing walk at 135mph is set to raise £1,000 for charity Sense
PUBLISHED: 15:59 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:59 15 June 2017
Crayford hero's daring efforts to raise cash as his slowly loses his sight
He may be registered blind, but 35-year-old Mark Baxter isn’t going to let that stop him when he does a daring wing walk for charity.
Mark, from Crayford, hopes by standing on the top wing of a biplane, travelling at 135mph and some 500ft in the air, will help him hit his target of £1,000.
He sufferes from a degenerative condition called retinitis pigmentosa and has been losing his eyesight from an early age.
But despite his fading sight, he has used his disability as a spur to do as much as he can, while he can.
Over the last 10 years, he has undertaken a number of extreme challenges, including skydives, the London Marathon, the Three Peaks Challenge, and treks across the Sahara Desert and Iceland.
He explains: “As retinitis pigmentosa is so unpredictable I do not know how long I have left to see these sights, so I try to do and see as much as possible, which includes these crazy challenges. This is my first time wing-walking and I can’t wait. If it can raise awareness of the condition and money for research then that’s a bonus.
“I really hope I can act as an inspiration for people who are going through a similar thing, and show them that where there is disability there is still ability.”
He’ll take to the skies on Saturday July 1 as part of Deafblind Awareness Week which runs from June 26 to July 2.
As part of the feat, he will board a Boeing Stearman biplane as it climbs, dives and swoops for low level flybys. To be able to complete the challenge, he is undertaking an extensive training programme to drop his weight within health and safety limits of 12st 2lbs.
He has set a fundraising target of £1,000 with the money going towards the national disability charity Sense.
It supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments, or other complex needs to live full, independent lives.
To find out more about the daring flight, and to donate to Mark’s efforts, visit the Just Giving website he has set up to take donations.
It can be found at www.justgiving.com/senseflight1717.