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A YOUNG SKATER HOPES NEW SURGERY WILL SAVE HIS VISION One day after undergoing surgery in his

right eye, 15-year-old novice Adrian Huertas  in the United States to undergo collagen cross- linking surgery for keratoconus. Aside from light sensitivity, Huertas has had no complications. “They said my eye was going to hurt a lot,

but I haven’t really been feeling that,” he said. Huertas was diagnosed with keratoconus

three years ago, when he was 12. The eye dis- ease can cause blindness, as the cornea weak- ens and changes shape. Neither Huertas nor his mother, Debra Peattie, was nervous about Huer-  

“I was ready.” As Huertas hit puberty, his condition pro-

gressed, and Peattie considered taking her son to Canada or Switzerland for the cross-linking surgery. In 2010, she accompanied Huertas to

meet a doctor in Zurich. “There’s no way I was going to sit around

and wait for it to get approved in the U.S.,” Peattie said. The procedure costs around $4,000 per

eye, but as part of the clinical study, Huertas’ surgery cost far less. “This procedure has been available for so

many years outside the U.S.,” Peattie said. “For whatever reason, it has not been accepted by the FDA here. That just frustrated me to no end.” When Huertas’ ophthalmologist began


recruiting patients for a clinical trial, Peattie seized the opportunity. “Things fell into place for us, so Adrian jumped in as patient number one,” she said. Keratoconus is a bilateral condition, so

Huertas will keep careful watch on his left eye, which still has 20/20 vision. “We don’t know what the future holds for

KELLY LAUNCHES ‘SKATING 80S’ Age is just a number for Barbara Kelly and some of her closest friends.

  from the Skating Club of Lake Placid. Joining Kelly in the inaugural class are Jack and Joan Devitt, longtime and current coaches at the Skating Club of Lake Placid, as well as Yvonne Farmer.    friends. Maggie Atkins, who turns 80 in September, helped host the event.    - ducted soon, as will Atkins. In July, the club plans to induct Oleg Protopopov, who with wife Liud-

mila Belousova, won two Olympic pairs titles in the 1960s.  - cluding two held in Lake Placid. She passed her bronze and silver tests when she was 68. The De- vitts, both 80, have coached for 57 years, 43 in Lake Placid. To be inducted into “Skating 80s,” prospec- tive members must be, or become, a member of the Skating Club of Lake Placid. Those who currently belong to another club can register in Lake Placid as an associ- ate member. Those seeking to apply for membership should also have been on the ice during the year of application. “People our age are out

Barbara Kelly, center, along with Jack and Joan Devitt launch 'Skating 80s.'

doing things, and we don’t even think what age we are,” said Kelly in a story that appeared in the Ad- irondack Enterprise. “We do it (activities) with a group.”

38 MAY 2012

Adrian Huertas competes at the 2012 New England Regional Championships.

his left eye,” Peattie said. “So halting the pro- gression in his right eye was critical, so it remains correctable with a contact lens.” Huertas won the New England Regional Championships in Boston last October, with just two months to prepare, after returning from studying abroad in Switzerland. He’ll continue at the novice level this year. “I’ve been perfecting my double Axel, work- ing on triples and transitions in my spins,” he said. “My main goal next year is making it to nationals.” — Amber Gibson

COUNTRY TO HELP FIGHT CANCER Most people spend their

summers traveling to places near and far, usually to relax and un- wind. But synchronized skater Sarah Eddy is doing something different — she’ll be biking 4,500 miles across the country     cancer.

Eddy is participating in the

4K for Cancer program with the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young  dedicated to enhancing lives by supporting, educating and con- necting young adults, and their loved ones, affected by cancer. “I personally have been af-


fected by cancer as I lost both my grandmother and grandfa- ther to the disease,” said Eddy, who is a member of the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating adult champion DC EDGE. “We will ride our bicycles for 70 days as we support community fundraising efforts and visit treatment centers.” Since the program began in 2002, it has raised more than

Sarah Eddy will trek across the country this summer to help fight cancer.

$1 million for the cause. Last year, the riders raised more than $476,000 in donations. Eddy’s journey will begin in Baltimore, Md., on May 27 and will

end up in Portland, Ore. “Each rider must raise a minimum of $4,500 to participate on

the trip,” she explained. “A portion of the money will go toward the bikes, vans and food necessary to complete the trip, but most of the funds will go to the Ulman Cancer Fund, community cancer fundrais- ers and support groups along our route.” To follow Eddy’s journey, to donate and learn more about the 4K for

 — Kama Korvela


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