Vancouver lawyers, ultra-marathoner back mission with vision

VANCOUVER, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - Twenty-two Vancouver law firms have joined Canadian ultra-marathon runner and Guinness World Record holder, Norma Bastidas, to support Operation Eyesight and the fight against unnecessary blindness in the developing world.

At a fundraising luncheon hosted by the law firms on Nov. 12, Bastidas shared her incredible experiences during her recent 777 Run for Sight - a grueling series of seven ultra-marathon races on seven continents in seven months. She also announced her next challenge in support of Operation Eyesight - to climb the seven highest mountains on each continent in record breaking time.

Bastidas presented a cheque for over $45,000 at the luncheon and the Vancouver law firms collectively contributed more than $26,000 to Operation Eyesight's overseas work.

"Unnecessary blindness is all too common in the developing world," says Pat Ferguson, President & CEO of Operation Eyesight. "Where life is already a challenge, loss of eyesight means loss of livelihood and often life itself."

"These very generous donations will help draw attention to this growing problem and will help our medical partners in Africa and south Asia to save the eyesight of many people."

Bastidas is inspired by her son's battle with cone-rod dystrophy, a progressive condition that often leads to significant loss of vision. Her long-term goal is to support efforts to treat and prevent blindness at home and abroad.

"Through it all I wanted to teach my kids that while we cannot always choose what happens to us, we can always choose what we do about it," says Bastidas.

Vancouver Law Firms supporting this event and the fight against global blindness are: Alexander Holburn Beaudin & Lang LLP, Beach Avenue Barristers, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Bull Housser & Tupper LLP, Davis LLP, Farris Vaughan Wills & Murphy LLP, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Goodmans LLP, Holmes & King, Hordo & Bennett, Hungerford Tomyn Lawrenson and Nichols, Hunter Litigation Chamber, Killam Cordell Murray, Koffman Kalef LLP, Lawson Lundell LLP, Lindsay Kenney LLP, MacLeod & Company, Miller Thomson LLP, Murphy Battista, Quinlan Abrioux, Slater Vecchio LLP, Sugden McFee & Roos LLP, Thorsteinssons LLP, Webster Hudson & Coombe LLP, Wilcox & Company Law Corporation

Operation Eyesight is a Canadian international development organization dedicated to preventing and treating blindness throughout the world for more than 45 years - primarily in South Asia and Africa. We help local medical professionals provide comprehensive, sustainable eye care and community development for the people of the world who can least afford it. Since 1963, Operation Eyesight has prevented blindness in more that 35 million people. For more information, visit www.operationeyesight.com.

Global Blindness - Every five seconds, one person in our world goes blind and a child goes blind every minute. More than 90 per cent of the world's blind people live in developing countries, where day-to-day life is already daunting and blindness is a direct threat to life. About 80 per cent of this blindness is preventable or treatable.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE OPERATION EYESIGHT UNIVERSAL

For further information: For further information: Lindsay O'Connor, oconnor@operationeyesight.com, Cell: (647) 404-4469, Toll Free: 1-800-585-8265

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OPERATION EYESIGHT UNIVERSAL

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