Like any mom, Norma Bastidas would move mountains if she could, to help her child. While living in Calgary, AB eight years ago, Norma’s oldest son Karl was diagnosed with an eye condition that doctors told her would cause him to go blind. Norma was helpless to do anything to save his vision. She took up running as a way of relieving her stress, and to help her cope with Karl’s incurable condition.
Norma was shocked when she first learned that 80 percent of blindness can be treated or prevented. “It bothered me as a mother,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine being in the position where my son could be cured, but I just didn’t have the money for his treatment, or didn’t have access to eye care at all.”
The length of Norma’s runs and her ambition to do something grew, evolving into her first ultra-marathon. Through her 777 Run for Sight, Norma became an ambassador for millions of blind and visually impaired people around the world, raising significant funds for Operation Eyesight and other eye-related charities. She was the fastest woman in history to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven months. She might not be able to help Karl, but she could make a difference in many other lives.
This summer, Norma’s once again lacing up her shoes to support Operation Eyesight. In July, she’ll run 135 miles (217 km) across Death Valley, California – one of the hottest places on earth – in the Badwater® 135. Norma knows the race will be incredibly challenging, but says it’s nothing compared to the suffering many blind people face every day.
Norma’s vision is for all the world to see! We might not all be able to run across the desert, but we can help her vision come true.
In honour of Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 10), we’d like to challenge you to join Norma in this run by making a donation. Your support would mean the world to Norma – and to the many mothers and families who will benefit from your generosity.
To make a donation, visit operationeyesight.com/normasvision. Thank you for your support… for all the world to see!