An academic researcher from London has decided to put on her running shoes and prepare to take on the London Marathon in order to raise money for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for blind and vision-impaired ex-Service men and women…

Dr Renata Beman, who lives in London, has been studying the psychology of blindness for over 10 years as she has always been fascinated with how blind people experience the world around them. She first came across the charity, which provides free lifelong support to veterans living with sight loss, while studying for her PhD.

“I had the honour to have the blind veterans as participants of my project”, she says. “It is not easy to overcome blindness in a visual world it must take a lot of strength of character.”

Originally from Brazil, Renata has lived in London for 17 years and has close military connections as her husband and his grandad both served in the Armed Forces. She says: “My husband was a radio officer and his grandfather went to the Second World War to drive the fuel supplies to the front line. He then drove an ambulance to try and save lives.”

Although Renata anticipates that the 26 mile stretch from Blackheath to The Mall will be a challenge, she is training in the gym every day and even controlling her diet in order to fully prepare for the marathon. Despite her dedication, she doesn’t have a finish time in mind and her focus is to reach the finish line. “I feel excited. I have taught blind people and I always said “you can do it!” Now it’s my time to do it!”

It’s not too late to join Renata and sign up to run the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK. She says: “It is very important to support people, don’t just stop at thinking it – make it an action and do it! The way I think about it is – if one day I go blind I would like to know that there are people willing to run for me. With one person going blind every five seconds, we never know what tomorrow brings.”

You can find out more information about running the London Marathon for Blind Veterans UK and sign up at You can also support Renata as she prepares to take on the London Marathon at