#TeamKili Killed It (and now more than 800 people will have their vision restored)
Four friends—Deepak Sobti, Vipin Nambiar, Neel Shah and Anirudh Ravunniarath—wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. That’s impressive enough.
But when one of those friends happens to be an ophthalmologist (AKA our very own Dr. Deepak Sobti), decides they should “do something good” with the challenge, and turns it into a fundraiser that ultimately ends up exceeding expectations and is projected to restore sight to 800 individuals who live in underserved parts of the world? Well, that’s just downright amazing.
When volunteering in Kathmandu, Nepal, Dr. Sobti witnessed first-hand the positive and life-changing impact the Himalayan Cataract Project has had on individuals afflicted with cataract-induced blindness in the region.
He wondered if he and his friends could turn their adventure into something bigger. The answer was a resounding YES. “We got a crazy idea to try to raise a dollar for every foot climbed,” said Dr. Sobti. “The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro has an altitude of 19,341 ft so that means we wanted to raise $19,341. Pretty ambitious!”
Ambitious, yes. But not only did TeamKili meet their goal, they crushed it! Killed it, in fact (see what we did there?). TeamKili has raised a whopping $21,263 to date.
The group of friends—minus one who suffered a serious bout of altitude sickness in the early morning of the last day as they were on the final climb to the summit— made it to the top on August 10th.
Dr. Sobti was proud to plant the Himalayan Cataract Project and Kleiman | Evangelista flags with his team at the summit.
In the days spent together, the team grew close to their guides. “We learned that one of our lead guide’s mother was blind,” said Dr. Sobti. “He had to go to work at an early age because she was unable to work and he had to help provide for his family. This obviously fortified our decision to raise money for such an important cause.”
The team is safely back in the states now, back to their lives, their families and their careers. Due to their efforts and the #TeamKili project, almost 800 surgeries will take place to help give back the gift of sight to individuals through the Himalayan Cataract Project.
Since 1995, the Himalayan Cataract Project and its global partners have performed more than 600,000 ophthalmic surgeries in the developing world through improvised mobile eye clinics and high-volume cataract campaigns. The life-changing, manual, sutureless procedures can be completed in less than 10 minutes at a material cost of just $25 a piece. To make any donations on behalf of Dr. Sobti and TeamKili, please visit cureblindness.org.
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