Imagine what it would be like to go through your daily activities without sight. That's what inspired PhD candidate Joshua Chu-Tan and three of his colleagues at the Austgralian National University's John Curtin School of Medical Research to run in the Canberra Times Fun Run on Sunday as a way of raising awareness of their work.
Mr Chu-Tan is working on macular degeneration and said, "We came up with the idea of running it 'blind'."
Each blindfolded runner would have a partner running alongside them to guide them along the track but it would still be a challenge. Mr Chu-Tan's supervisor, Dr Riccardo Natoli, said they didn't want it to come across as belittling people with vision disabilities but as a way for the researchers to get out in the community, share their work, and experience something of what it was like to live with impaired vision.
Dr Natoli said one in seven people over 70 would develop macular degeneration and would become legally blind and with an ageing population it was a condition that would become a growing concern.
Mr Chu-Tan said, "I'm very much into sports and fitness" and added he would be tackling the 10-kilometre run.
"We'll be wearing team shirts with the website address on it."
His supervisor said most of the others also played various sports - "soccer, tennis, basketball" - and would be running the five-kilometre course. While Dr Natoli would not be able to run himself because of a recent operation he would be coming to talk to people on the day of the Fun Run about the research work of the medical school.
The Canberra Times Fun Run is on Sunday, September 3. canberratimesfunrun.com.au.