L V Prasad Eye Institute Hosts WHITATHON Run to Support Retinoblastoma Treatment

L V Prasad Eye Institute Hosts WHITATHON Run to Support Retinoblastoma Treatment
Chief Guest Dr Vineeth. G (4th from Left), IPS, DCP, Madhapur; flanked by (L-R) Dr Swathi Kaliki, Head – Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer, LVPEI; Dr Prashant Garg, Executive Chair, LVPEI; Dilip Kumar Mohanty, Director, NMDC Ltd., & Dr Vijay Anand Reddy, Director, Apollo Cancer Hospital; flagging off the 6th Edition of the ‘WHITATHON 2024 RUN’, hosted by L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), to raise awareness & funds for children with eye cancer, today at the University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli.

Hyderabad, 20th May 2024: L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) organized the sixth edition of ‘WHITATHON’ Run on May 19, to raise awareness about the early detection of Retinoblastoma (eye cancer) in children and funds for its treatment. The event commemorates the World Retinoblastoma Awareness Week, observed for seven days starting on the second Sunday in May, every year. The run was flagged off by Dr Vineeth. G, IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police – Madhapur Zone, at the University of Hyderabad, Gachibowli, today.

The funds raised from the Whitathon run are utilized to treat underprivileged children suffering from Retinoblastoma at no cost, and to support future research. This year, over 2000 enthusiastic participants joined the cause, demonstrating strong community support for the event.

Dr Vineeth. G, speaking on the occasion said, heartening to see the huge participation in support of a noble cause of aiding patients of Retinoblastoma and the run is aptly called Whitathon. The money raised through this helps to render free treatment for patients who can’t afford the treatment cost.

Dr Swathi Kaliki, Head – Operation Eyesight Universal Institute for Eye Cancer, LVPEI; addressing the gathering said, L V Prasad Eye Institute is organising the run called ‘WHITATHON’ today, to raise awareness and early detection of eye cancer called Retinoblastoma. The white reflex seen in the eyes of the children can be a sign of eye cancer and any child with such reflex should be taken for an eye screening immediately. The forming of a tumour in the retina leads to this white reflex. Detecting retinoblastoma in the early stages is critical, as it aids in preserving the sight, the eye and saving the life. Retinoblastoma can be hereditary, therefore the next generation in the family should also get screened for it. Over 2200 participants are supporting this run.

Dr Vijay Anand Reddy, Director, Apollo Cancer Hospital; said, eye cancer or retinoblastoma is a phenomenon seen in just born to six year old children. It is essential to detect this early and seek immediate treatment, as over 90% of the patients with this disease can be cured.

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that primarily affects children under three years of age. The treatment usually involves multiple expensive procedures and surgeries, with close monitoring over several months. Over the past decade, LVPEI has treated more than 2500 patients, about 60-65% of them free of cost. Annually, the institute treats 150 to 200 new cases of Retinoblastoma, with 40% of them in the later stages and 10% in very late stage. Early detection and treatment ensure better outcomes for the children.

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