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Ophthalmology Residents and Staff at Universities Across Canada Sweat for Sight

Published: 11.10.2018

Press Release Vancouver, BC – October 11, 2018: This World Sight Day, ophthalmology residents and department staff at four universities across the country will Sweat for Sight and compete to raise money and awareness for Seva Canada’s eye care programmes in low-income countries. World Sight Day, the annual day of awareness to focus global attention on blindness and vision impairment is taking place on October 11, 2018.

Residents and department staff at McGill University, University of Toronto, University of Alberta and University of British Columbia, will be participating in a variety of sweaty fitness activities from bootcamps to volleyball and basketball all while fundraising to provide eye care to some of the most marginalized people in low-income countries. The competition is two-fold, to raise the most money and to win the fitness challenge.

Dr. Vivian Yin, Seva Canada Board member and ophthalmologist came up with this friendly competition because she knows the tremendous impact restoring sight has on an individual, their family and their community.

“I would rather die than lose my vision.” “This is a phrase that I hear all too often as an ophthalmologist. I see firsthand the importance of vision on an individual’s quality of life, independence and fulfillment especially when I travel to Seva’s programs to train local ophthalmologists on the latest surgical techniques. The vast majority of the 36 million people worldwide who are living with blindness are in remote, rural areas of low-income countries with little to no access to eye care. The good news is 4 out 5 people who are blind don’t need to be, and Seva works with local partners to create evidence-based, sustainable eye care programmes that provide high-quality care for the most vulnerable members of their population for generations to come. Just $50 can restore a person’s sight with a cataract surgery, the most common cause of treatable blindness. I knew that Seva Canada’s annual Sweat for Sight event would be a really engaging way for the ophthalmology residents and department staff to get involved, raise awareness and have a little friendly competition. The impact that each dollar they raise will have is tremendous. When a person in need has their sight restored, they can go back to work or school, and help lift themselves and their family out of poverty.” – Dr. Vivian Yin

Each of the resident and department staff teams have a captain to encourage them to be their sweaty best so they can win and earn very valuable bragging rights. The residents are already in the lead with a $1000 gift to their fundraising pages generously donated by Dr. Vivian Yin.

“I am very proud and excited to be representing McGill University as attending staff captain in our first “Sweat for Sight” staff vs resident charity challenge. Addressing the plight of treatable blindness worldwide is a cause very dear to my heart and this event is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and the critical funding necessary for Seva Canada to carry out their important work. – Dr. Karin Marianna Oliver, McGill University

Eyecare Everywhere, the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness’ theme for this year’s World Sight Day, perfectly aligns with Seva Canada’s vision of a world in which no one is needlessly blind or visually impaired.

” We are so grateful to the university Departments of Ophthalmology for getting sweaty for sight. When more people are healthy, and have the opportunity to see and succeed, we all win.” – Penny Lyons, Seva Canada Executive Director

Read more on the Seva Canada website