Non-surgical Treatment for Keratoconus Returns Bobsled Gold Medal Winners Eye Site
Posted Apr 05 2010 12:00am
2010 Olympics Not Only Hands Out Medals
- It Gives Sight To The Blind
How Steve Holcomb Went From Virtually Blind And Quitting
To Perfect Vision And An Olympic Gold Medal
Steve Holcomb had a dream… to captain the U.S. Men’s Bobsled Team to an Olympic Gold Medal in 2010.(Something they had not done since 1948.)
But, just a couple of years ago, Steve’s dream seemed impossible.
Steve Was Going Blind
He had a degenerative eye condition called Keratoconus that affects millions of people and takes away their ability to read, drive a car, and live a normal life.
Steve’s vision had deteriorated so much he could not see well enough to drive the U.S. National team’s bobsled.In an interview, he said he was going to retire and walk away from his life-long dream.
But, Steve’s coaches and the United States Olympic Committee weren’t going to let him walk away so fast.
They researched a new procedure (back in 2008) called C3-R and decided it was his best shot at saving his eyesight.
According to an article by the Boxer Wachler Institute:
The USOC and the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Federation took the exceptional step of paying for Holcomb to have the treatment.
"Previously, the only treatment for severe Keratoconus was a cornea transplant," says Dr. Boxer Wachler.
"This is why C3-R is being seen as such a breakthrough. C3-R is non-surgical. It uses vitamin applications and light to strengthen the cornea. C3-R can cure the disease without the need for a cornea transplant. The treatment only takes 30 minutes and can be done in a doctor's office.
It can be hard to get doctors to switch to a new procedure, especially one so radically different, but now that is dramatically changing because of Steve. Steve's story is making doctors and patients all over the world aware of C3-R."Steve’s story is a great one…
Shortly after the procedure, he captained the U.S. Team to a World Championship – the United States’ first in 50 years. And not only that, Steve ended the United States’ 64-year drought and accomplished his dream by winning a Gold Medal in the 2010 Olympics.
But, here’s the ironic thing…When he was interviewed before the gold medal run, Steve said getting his sight back wasn’t all positive.
How could this be?
According to Steve, his vision had been so bad for so long that he developed a way to drive the bobsled by feel.
And When He Got His Sight Back, It Made His Driving WORSE!
Steve actually scratched up the visor on his helmet and keeps it dirty so he can’t see that well!!!
It’s amazing how Steve could be one of the best (if not THE best) bobsled drivers in the world when he was legally blind, considering bobsleds travel at over 90 miles per hour on dangerous ice covered tracks.
It just goes to show how well one can adapt – as long as we put in enough effort and do not quit.
And the same goes for researchers and doctors who never quit coming up with the new ideas, treatments and procedures that make dreams, like Steve’s, possible.
Now, due to the tremendous popularity of Steve, his Olympic Gold Medal and the wonderful work of researchers and doctors, it is possible for millions of people who may have gone blind to see again.
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