Running to Combat Riverblindness

One bite from a fly can lead to blindness, but one runner or walker can keep four people from losing their sight. The second annual May Day 5k to Combat Riverblindness will be Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m.. The run/walk starts and ends at Princeton Theological Seminary at College Avenue. The $25 entry fee will benefit the United Front Against Riverblindness (UFAR). Register in advance at www.riverblindness.org or www.princetonumc.org. All participants will get a T-shirt.

Last year my husband and I walked the course — it’s a beautiful course, wending its way through the seminary and the Institute, with the dogwood trees in bloom — and managed to turn in a time of less than 60 minutes. We didn’t break into a trot, not even once. Shown here — David and Anthony Teng, crossing the finish line last year.

Race sponsors include Merck, Princeton Eye Group, Princeton United Methodist Church, and the Princeton Running Company. And the T-shirts are gorgeous.

UFAR is the African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit charitable organization that aims – in partnership with other organizations — to eradicate onchocerciasis, a major public health problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Though the medicine for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., distributing it to remote villages costs 58 cents per person per year for 10 years. One-third of the 60 million people in that country are at risk for getting riverblindness, which starts with a rash and leads to sight loss, forcing children to leave school to care for parents.

Race sponsors include Merck, Princeton Eye Group, Princeton United Methodist Church, and the Princeton Running Company.

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