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Bank of America Chicago Marathon – Operation Asha Fundraiser

We did it!

Kevin with the finisher's medal

$5000 saves 100 children

Kevin Desharnais, Chair of OpASHA’s U.S. Board, after completing the North Shore Half Marathon, the first time he ever ran 13.1 miles. Only another 13.1 miles to go!

Operation ASHA is working long and hard to treat tuberculosis among the poor and underprivileged, those Mother Teresa called the poorest of the poor. While TB is a lethal and highly contagious disease, it is a treatable disease, yet each year there are 2 million new cases of TB and half a million deaths in India alone.  300,000 children are forced to leave school because of TB. OpASHA has taken on the challenge of fighting this disease, growing from one treatment center in 2006 to over 222 treatment centers today, serving 2,053 slums and villages in six Indian states and two provinces in Cambodia, with more on the way. This fundraiser will support OpASHA’s efforts to fight TB among children. Our goal is to raise $5,000, and save 100 lives.

These girls were prevented from attending school by TB, but through treatment at an OpASHA center were able to return to school and continue their education.

Every $50 raised will treat one child and save a life.

So how do I, a 46 year- old desk jockey with chronically bad knees, decide to run a marathon? First, I draw inspiration from the 2 incredible founders of OpASHA, Dr. Shelly Batra and Sandeep Ahuja, who have developed and implemented an effective treatment model for TB where many others have tried and failed. For me, their ceaseless efforts to serve underprivileged communities by eradicating this treatable disease are truly inspiring, and make me want to jump in and join them in fighting the good fight, and share in some piece of that success!

Because of the living conditions in the slum areas and the highly contagious nature of TB, these children are at great risk.

Second, in many ways, a marathon is an apt metaphor for the fight against TB. Just as the training for a marathon is a long-term process, the fight against TB is a long-term struggle that demands perseverance.

Third, having announced that I am running the marathon for charity, and as Chairman of OpASHA’s U.S. Board, there is no way for me to back out now! Please help make this effort a success! Every $50 raised will treat one child and save a life. Please donate now!  Your contribution will have a direct impact. Please remember to ask your employer if they have a matching gift program.

Best,

Kevin

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