Hyderabad, May 6, 2018: To raise awareness on early detection of eye cancer (Retinoblastoma) in children, L V Prasad Eye institute (LVPEI) is organizing its first "WHITATHON" Run on May 20 to commemorate the World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week that will be observed from May 13-19, 2018. VVS Laxman and Tom Moody from SunRisers Hyderabad, the Indian Premier League (IPL) team, will be unveiling the Whitathon T-shirt on 6 May, 2018.

Retinoblastoma, most commonly (90%) affects children below 3 years of age. 20 to 25% cases of eye cancer worldwide in children are from India, and 50% of cases worldwide lose their lives due to late detection and inadequate treatment.

The Run will be flagged off from People's Plaza, Necklace Road, Hyderabad, Telangana at 6 AM. The funds raised from the Whitathon Run will be utilized for treating poor children suffering from Retinoblastoma free of cost, and to provide resources for future research to explore new treatment options for this alarming disease. The event is being supported by the Hyderabad Runners Society, the torchbearers of community running in Hyderabad.

Run categories and registration fee:

  • ✔ 3K Fun Run – ✔ 400
  • ✔ 5K (Untimed Run) – ✔ 500
  • ✔ 5K (Timed Run) – ✔ 600
  • ✔ 10K (Timed Run) – ✔ 750

To register log on to: https://www.ifinish.in/event_details/WHITATHON_2018

Striving to create awareness, Dr Swathi Kaliki, Ocular Oncologist and Head - Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer at L V Prasad Eye Institute said, "Every day 4 children are diagnosed with eye cancer in India and worldwide, 50 per cent children with retinoblastoma die because of late detection. It is critical to create awareness on the importance of early detection of the disease, so that no child dies of eye cancer needlessly, and our children enjoy better chances of eye and vision preservation."

Over 8000 new cases of eye cancer are detected every year worldwide, with over 1000 to 1500 new cases in India. LVPEI treats about 150 to 200 cases every year, of which 5 to 10% are in very late stages. Retinoblastoma is curable if the tumour is detected early. Early diagnosis can help save the eye through chemotherapy and focal treatment, thus saving the life, eye, and the vision of the child. Over the past decade, LVPEI has treated 1500+ patients with retinoblastoma eye cancer, most them being children less than 5 years of age, and of that 60% were treated free of cost.

Dr Swathi further added that the incidence of the disease is 1 in 18,000 live births. It is time to make detailed eye check-ups a part of mandatory paediatric examinations. Parents and physicians should be educated about symptoms which could otherwise be easily dismissed as an infection. There is a need for increased awareness about this life-threatening disease among parents.

About L V Prasad Eye Institute

The L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) was established in 1987 at Hyderabad as a not-for-profit, non-government, public-spirited, comprehensive eye care institution. LVPEI is governed by two trusts: the Hyderabad Eye Institute and the Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation. The Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Prevention of Blindness and a Global Resource Centre for VISION 2020: The Right to Sight initiative. LVPEI has ten active arms to its areas of operations: Clinical Services, Education, Research, Vision Rehabilitation, Rural and Community Eye Health, Eye Banking, Advocacy and Policy Planning, Capacity Building, Innovation and Product Development.

The LVPEI pyramidal model of eye care delivery currently includes a Centre of Excellence in Hyderabad, 3 tertiary centres in Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, 18 secondary and 171 primary care vision centres that cover the remotest rural areas in the four states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Karnataka. For further information, visit the Institute’s website www.lvpei.org

For further information, please contact:
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
Head - Communications & Corporate Relations
Tel: +91 040 23547254, +91 040 30612371; Mobile: +91 9849171895