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1,000 km cycle tour to spread awareness about childhood eye cancer

November 22, 2014

On November 14, Children’s Day, actress Tamannaah Bhatia flagged off Umeed from Mumbai. Umeed is a 1000km cycling tour from Mumbai to Bengaluru – an initiative by Jasmeet Gandhi, partner business evangelist at Microsoft to create awareness about retinoblastoma, a childhood eye cancer and raise funds for Iksha Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that helps children affected with retinoblastoma. Enroute to Bengaluru, Jasmeet will stop over at Pune, Satara, Kholapur, Belagavi, Hubballi, Davangere, Chitradurga and Tumakuru.
On rest day in Belagavi, an eye camp was organised for primary school children and high school children of a blind school were given Braille watches as part of Umeed 1000. The tour was flagged of by Prabhakar Kore, member of parliament and IBaskhar Rao, IGP, who also cycled with Jasmeet for a few kilometres.

The ride culminates in Bengaluru on November 23, where the cyclist will be welcomed by singer-actress Vasundhara Das, Dr Bhujang Shetty, chairman of Narayana Nethralaya, children who have battled with retinoblastoma supported by Iksha Foundation and their families, friends in the press, project sponsors and well wishers.

Iksha Foundation has partnered with Narayana Nethralaya and Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center in Narayana Health to get the best available treatment at the most cost effective rates for retinoblastoma affected children.

Comments Dr. Shetty, who would like to see every child obtain the best treatment and ease the suffering caused to the child and family by childhood eye cancers, “With the help of Iksha Foundation, Narayana Nethralaya has been able to ensure that all affected children are financially supported through their diagnosis and treatment. No child with eye cancer will be turned away for want of finances.”

Retinoblastoma is an eye cancer that arises inside the eye, from a layer called the retina. This cancer mostly affects young children under the age of five years. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can save the child, save the eye and save vision. The tumor is always fatal if detected too late or treatment not provided. Due to the lack of awareness and the lack of access to appropriate treatment, the cancer is unfortunately detected at an advanced stage. The common signs of retinoblastoma are a white reflex (or white pupil). In a child with retinoblastoma, the pupil might reflect a white glow; squint eyes or ‘crossed eyes’ could also be the first sign of retinoblastoma. Some of the rare, but important signs of this cancer are decreased vision, bleeding in the eye and – in the advanced stages – a red, painful or swollen eye.

Started in February, 2010, Iksha Foundation aims to provide financial support to the poor and underprivileged families of children with Retinoblastoma. For more information, visit www.ikshafoundation.org.

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