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Optometrists rally to the cause of fighting eye disease

A few years ago, optometrist Kevin Anderson’s brother-in-law suggested he join a cycling event called Cycle for Sight to raise money to fight eye disease.

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The donors: Kevin Anderson and Farhana Khan

The gift: Raising more than $600,000 and climbing

The cause: The Foundation Fighting Blindness

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A few years ago, Kevin Anderson's brother-in-law suggested he join a cycling event called Cycle for Sight to raise money to fight eye disease.

Dr. Anderson, who is an optometrist in Toronto, was surprised at how few eye specialists participated in the event given that it raised money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which funds research into eye diseases.

"It was strange. This is something we are all supposed to be fighting against," he said.

He has not only participated in the event for five years but became chairman a couple of years ago. Each year, the ride raises close to $300,000 and this year's event is on June 24. There are varying rides, which caters to more experienced cyclists, covering between 50 and 150 kilometres. The number of participants has climbed to around 300 from 20 nine years ago, and Dr. Anderson, 37, said many come from the eye-care field. Dr. Anderson's wife, Farhana Khan, 39, who is also an optometrist, is helping raise money for the foundation as well. She chairs Eye Ball, a fundraising gala held in Toronto.

"We're putting this event on the map," Dr. Anderson said about the cycle ride. "It's pretty amazing."

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