Fight for Sight is inviting people to take part in a new virtual running fundraising event that will take them on a Journey to the Centre of the Eye.
Fight for Sight’s free Journey to the Centre of the Eye event will start during National Eye Health Week on 24 September and run until World Sight Day on 11 October. It will involve runners or walkers signing up on the charity’s site, downloading an app and then listening to an audio story while they run or walk a 10k virtual race.
Through the app, participants will shrink to the size of a photon before being taken deep into the eye. The interactive app will use geo-positioning to give updates to runners at different stages of the course, revealing wonders about the eye and eye health tips along the way.
Journey to the Centre of the Eye will also aim to raise awareness of eye health and funds for Fight for Sight to fund research to prevent sight loss.
Michele Acton, Chief Executive of Fight for Sight, said:
“We’re encouraging everyone to join a massive adventure at a small scale! I think this is a fantastic interactive way to learn more about the eye while you get fit, and what better time to take part than in National Eye Health Week. Anyone can get involved and you can walk, jog or run at your own pace from any location.
“Half of sight loss is actually avoidable so it’s really important that people know about their eyes and how to look after their eyesight.”
One participant will be Londoner Joe Pepper, 26, who has an eye condition called choroideremia and had extensive sight loss until he took part in pioneering gene therapy which improved his sight. Fight for Sight funded the initial research that led to the clinical trials, through the Tommy Salisbury Choroideremia Fund.
“To grow up gradually seeing your vision deteriorate and having to contemplate giving up the sports and activities you love was soul destroying. Thanks to the research funding of Fight for Sight I no longer have to prepare for going blind due to gene therapy which has stopped me losing my sight and even brought some back. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to sign up to the virtual event. Use your eyes – run through landmarks, along country paths or around local parks – and treasure the sights you see. I certainly do and now always will be able to.”