Dad's race against time to take daughter to Disneyland before she goes blind

Molly Bent, aged six

Molly with dad Chris, mum Eve, sister Charlotte and brother Samuel

From left, old school pals Johnny Lowe, Chris Bent, Christian Simpson, Mark Dorey and Chris McGhie who will be running for Molly

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A BRANDLESHOLME dad-of-three has enlisted old schoolfriends to help give his little girl experiences to last a lifetime before she goes blind.

Last December, after 18 months of tests, police officer Chris Bent and his wife Eve were told the devastating news their six-year-old daughter Molly will eventually go blind.

Molly has been diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye condition which causes patches on the retina at the back of the eye.

The youngster, who is now registered visually impaired, has black patches in her field of vision and suffers from night blindness, where she cannot see in low lights.

There is no treatment or cure for the condition and Molly’s sight will continue deteriorating until it goes completely — but her family have no idea when this could be.

But 27-year-old Chris, who now lives in Blackley, has enlisted his old Bury Church schoolfriends to tackle the Greater Manchester Run with him in May.

The team hope their sporting efforts will raise enough money to take Molly on a trip to see Disneyland Paris while she still can.

Eve, who is also mum to Charlotte, aged five and Samuel, aged two, said: “It was a shock, but we wanted to try and turn what has happened into a positive thing.

“For some people there are no symptoms until their teens or later, but Molly’s are already noticeable and are getting worse every time she has a check-up.

“All we can do is take her to do and see as many things as she can and make lots of fantastic memories as possible before her sight goes.

“Besides Disneyland, we are planning trips to Blackpool and London, as well as visits to plenty of museums.

“Molly loves the world and animals. She wants to explore everywhere she can while she can. She is such an adventurous and confident child and takes every day in her stride.”

Eve’s brother also suffers from the Retinitis Pigmentosa and his sight started to disappear at the age of 10, getting progressively worse until he was 17.

The family were told only boys could develop the hereditary condition, which meant it came as an extra shock when Molly was diagnosed.

Eve, aged 26, added: “She may have a year of sight but she may not — there is just no way of knowing.”

The Bents also have a Facebook auction page to raise money and have raised £1,635 in donations to date.

Heywood charity Trewan Sands Children’s Trust has donated a free holiday to Ribby Hall in Preston this Easter for Molly and her familyy.

To support Making Molly’s Memories: go to gofundme.com/makingmollysmemories

Comments (2)

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5:16pm Sat 8 Mar 14

R'Marcus says...

Ribby Hall is a fantastic place for the family.
They don't need to Disney Paris, anywhere, if money is tight.
Ribby Hall is a fantastic place for the family. They don't need to Disney Paris, anywhere, if money is tight. R'Marcus
  • Score: -2

5:36am Sun 23 Mar 14

Icare4RP says...

I truly wish this little girl & the family all the best. I am the only known case of RP in my family. I also was told I was going to go blind, when I was 6, I am now 33 years old with only minor changes to my retina. I am confident to walk around without use of a cane even though I'm classified as legally blind. Since having my boys diagnose with RP as well and far more severe then my RP, I have channeled my energy onto research into finding a cure. It is such a great feeling knowing you are helping this horrible eye disease, with promising research ahead. You can take peace that their maybe an answer to a cure soon..
I truly wish this little girl & the family all the best. I am the only known case of RP in my family. I also was told I was going to go blind, when I was 6, I am now 33 years old with only minor changes to my retina. I am confident to walk around without use of a cane even though I'm classified as legally blind. Since having my boys diagnose with RP as well and far more severe then my RP, I have channeled my energy onto research into finding a cure. It is such a great feeling knowing you are helping this horrible eye disease, with promising research ahead. You can take peace that their maybe an answer to a cure soon.. Icare4RP
  • Score: 1

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