LOTS of local ladies will be taking part in the Trinity Illumathon with a friend.
But for Susan Wakeley, having her very special friend with her is actually the reason she is able to do the fundraising midnight walk on September 1.
Susan, from Anchorsholme, was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in 2009, which means she is gradually losing her sight.
But since Susan got her guide dog Timmy last November, her life has turned around.
And Timmy – a black flat-coated retriever – will be by her side as she joins hundreds of other Fylde coast women walking a 10-mile or five-mile route along the Promenade, to raise money for Bispham-based hospice Trinity.
She said: “If it wasn’t for Timmy, I wouldn’t be able to do the Illumathon.
“Getting Timmy changed my life 100 per cent. I feel so grateful and so privileged to have him. I got him just in time for Christmas last year and he was the best Christmas present I could ever have had.
“He has given me a lot of confidence and independence.
“I’m now able to go out and about a lot more. I can go places I wouldn’t normally have gone, go shopping, go to the hospital.
“It’s made such a big difference.”
Susan – who is married to Ian – decided she wanted to take part in the Illumathon for Trinity after being given the news her father-in-law’s cancer could not be cured.
She said: “I lost both my parents to cancer and when we were given the news about my father-in-law Colin, who lives with us, I decided I would do the Illumathon.
“I’ve been doing fundraising for Guide Dogs too because I feel so grateful to have been given Timmy.
“We’ve been doing a lot of walking to get ready for it, as well as getting sponsors.
“We have our outfits planned already. Timmy has a blue tutu to wear and I have a T-shirt and tutu.
“ It means a lot to me to raise money for Trinity.”
To join Susan and take part in the Illumathon, visit the website www.trinityhospice.co.uk or call (01253) 358881.