Biking for Sight: Chris Mairs Gives the Gift of Sight

July 2017 | Stories from the field

By Kate Bryant

Former Vice President of Development

When U.K.-based tech entrepreneur Chris Mairs told me that he was going to bike across North America to raise funds for SEE, I was intrigued. Chris has been registered blind from a degenerative condition called retinitis pigmentosa (RP), since age 18. How did he plan to ride across an entire continent without the use of his eyes?

Chris explained that he would ride on the back of a tandem bike, named Genevieve, steered by a partner. His plan was simple: in celebration of his 60th birthday, which took place earlier this year, he would help SEE provide cataract surgeries for 60 people each day. By raising £30 (or $40 U.S.) for every mile he rode, he would raise a total of £108,000 (just over $140,000). His ride would ultimately restore sight to 3,600 men, women, and children worldwide – approximately one for each mile of his journey.

As of today (July 28), Chris is in London, Ontario, Canada. He still has ten days left to go – but already he has smashed his goal. Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, his ride has generated nearly £130,000, or about $170,000. That’s enough to restore sight to more than 4,200 patients.

I’m inspired by Chris’ example of sacrifice, generosity and humanitarianism. What Chris is accomplishing here is truly unique. Not everybody can perform such notable feats of strength and endurance, in order to give the gift of sight to someone. Thankfully volunteering with SEE, giving financial and moral support to our amazing humanitarian doctors, and spreading awareness about avoidable blindness is more than enough.

Support Chris today

If you’re interested in following Chris’ amazing progress, reading his blog (which is engaging and funny, by the way), or donating to SEE in his name, visit his website. You can also visit our page on his ride here.

I wish you all a beautiful summer! Enjoy the Great Outdoors when you have a chance – remember to ride a bike, go fishing, or just enjoy a nice, leisurely walk, and take in the beauty all around you.

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