CALGARY, AB – Cross-country skier Brian McKeever, one of Canada’s most decorated Paralympians of all-time, will team up with the Foundation Fighting Blindness this fall for a unique running event to raise funding and awareness in the pursuit of a cure for inherited forms of blindness. McKeever will headline a field of 500 runners who will lace up their running shoes for the Run for Sight, a 5km run/walk event to be held at noon-hour in downtown Calgary on Thursday, September 16th.
McKeever, a Calgary native and ten-time Paralympic medalist, has Stargardt’s disease, an inherited form of degenerative blindness that has resulted in significant loss of his central vision. “I am proud to be partnering with the Foundation Fighting Blindness for such a great event in support of a cause that is near and dear for me,” commented McKeever. “These diseases impact so many families in our community and I think this event will provide a unique, fun way to create awareness while raising funds for research.”
Joining McKeever as a Run for Sight Ambassador will be Norma Bastidas, a Calgarian who has run ultramarathons and climbed mountains across the globe in support of the blind and visually impaired. In 2009 Bastidas became the fastest female in history to run seven of the planet’s most unforgiving environments, completing seven ultramarathons on seven continents in seven months. Three years ago Bastidas’ oldest son Karl, now 14, was diagnosed with Cone Rod Dystrophy, a progressive condition that causes vision loss with no cure.
“I often get credited for something that people who are living with blindness and vision impairment do everyday of their lives – overcoming huge challenges,” notes Bastidas. “We have a golden opportunity to transform retinal research in Canada, and the support provided through events such as this will help us reach this goal.”
The inaugural Run for Sight will take place in September and will follow a picturesque 5km course along the Bow River, starting and finishing at Eau Claire Park. Scheduled for 12:30pm on Thursday, September 16, the event will be a unique, weekday run that will look to engage and unite Calgary’s downtown business community.