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Mile by milestone
The 2017 Dis-Chem Ride for Sightwill be a special cycle event in many ways. It will represent the 10th year of Dis-Chem Pharmaciesbeing the naming sponsor of this prestigious event in its 29th year. The event has raised almost R5 millionover the past ten years and it continues to make a significant annual contribution to enabling Retina SAto fund its on-going research programme being conducted at the University of Cape Town.
This research is dedicated to finding treatments for genetic retinal blinding conditions such as Retinitis Pigmentosa [RP], Macular Degeneration [MD]and dozens of other rare and devastating forms of retinal vision loss. The South African National Council for the Blindhas recently joined the organising team from Retina South Africa and will focus on promoting tandem cycling for blind athletes. In another new initiative associated with the event, Retina South Africa have partnered with the Ekurhuleni Metro and East Rand Cyclingto transform cycling within the Metro.
The event will start and finish at the Boksburg City Stadium, Jubilee Road, Boksburgon Sunday 19 February 2017. There are numerous benefits for cyclists with the event having been embraced and supported by the City of Ekurhuleniwho will avail of their technical and managerial expertise and infrastructure to support the event. This enhances the cyclists’ safety enormously on the day.
The 116kmDis-Chem Ride for Sighthas once again been selected as a seeding event for the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tourand novice cyclists and those not yet confident of participating in the longer ride can enjoy all the buzz of this premier event by riding in the shorter vita-thion 63km Challenge.
All cyclists who enter the donation draw [minimum R20] stand to win special draw prizes valued at over R100 000. These extra funds will be matched by the Dis-Chem Foundationso we strongly urge participants to donate generously.
The high value lucky draw prizes on the day have become a feature of this event and in 2017 we will continue to uphold this tradition.
The first ever gene replacement therapy to treat a rare form of RP is expected to be registered by the end of this year. Race Secretary Claudette Medefindthas emphasised that
“this is a world first and we hope that we can raise enough money to assist young patients who will benefit directly from this exciting new treatment”.
This will bring the hope of a sighted future to thousands of young South Africans affected by these genetic eye conditions.