To the Editor:
At this year’s UFAR 5K to Combat Riverblindness, more than 100 runners helped to keep people from going blind in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We are grateful to the Princeton Theological Seminary for hosting the start and finish of this race, which goes through some of Princeton’s loveliest scenery. Our sponsors also included Merck, Princeton United Methodist Church, Princeton Eye Group, Sight Savers International, Road ID, Rocky Hill Inn, Songbird Capital, Trader Joe’s, and Princeton Fitness and Wellness Center.
All runners received T-shirts, and we were able to give nine prizes, thanks to the generosity of these donors: Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Anthony Rabara Pilates Studio, Rocky Hill Yoga, Forest Jewelers, Princeton Running Company, Landau of Princeton, and the Optical Gallery of Princeton. Race results and photos are posted at www.riverblindness.org.
UFAR is the African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit charitable organization that aims – in partnership with other organizations -- to eradicate onchocerciasis, known as riverblindness. This is a horrific disease that causes severe itching and, eventually, leads to blindness by the age of 40. It afflicts more than 13 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). According to the World Health Organization, the disease can be eradicated by 2020. The medicine for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., but distributing it to remote villages is difficult yet only costs 58 cents per person per year for 10 years.
Daniel Shungu, founder, UFAR
Charles Phillips and Liz Meggitt, race co-chairs