A 42-YEAR-OLD woman who was diagnosed with an eye disease, usually suffered by those over the age of 60, will take part in the Great North Run for those "who would love to do it and can’t".

Julie Hall of Middlesbrough, was diagnosed with macular disease in her early 20s, but noticed a deterioration in her sight over the last two years.

"I had been so blasé about being diagnosed with macular disease, due to not having any symptoms for such a long time.

"I just assumed nothing would change until I was older – in my 60s at the earliest."

Ms Hall said she had become "frightened" by her symptoms with increased difficulty in making out people's faces.

"The thought of losing my sight and not being able to do basic everyday things without assistance is such a daunting prospect.

"I’ve had difficulty looking at anything with straight lines on for a while as they distort, and just recently I’ve started to have the same problems with people’s faces."

Macular disease is regarded the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK.

According to statistics, nearly 1.5m people are affected while many more could be at risk from developing symptoms of it, while there is currently no cure.

"I’d never heard of macular disease before I was diagnosed and was only given very basic information about it.

"It wasn’t until quite recently that I found out about the Macular Society while researching macular disease myself on the internet."

After her conditioning worsening, Ms Hall said she wanted to raise money for the Macular Society, a charity which raises awareness, and supports those suffering the disease and do the race for "those who can't".

Ms Hall said after running several years ago, but falling out of the routine, she decided she would give running another go.

"At the beginning of the year, I decided to start again and saw on the Macular Society’s website that there were charity places available for the Great North Run. There must be lots of people out there who would love to be able do it and can’t, so I decided I was going to do it for them."

On September 8, Ms Hall will take part in the Great North Run on Tyneside – a JustGiving page has since been set up to help her raise £350.