Annual Ski Race Benefits Eye Research at Casey Eye Institute

12/29/99    Portland, Ore.

A 16-year-old who lost his life on the slopes of Mt. Hood will be remembered this weekend during the 4th annual Kyle Curran Memorial Ski Race. The event will be held at 10 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2000, at the Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. Proceeds from the race will go to the Kyle Curran Memorial Fund at Oregon Health Sciences University's Casey Eye Institute. Kyle's parents, Nancy and Bob Curran, established the fund to benefit eye research at the Casey Eye Institute aimed at reducing vision loss.

Kyle was diagnosed with a form of juvenile macular degeneration before his death in 1996. The disease causes central vision problems. Many patients complain of a central blurred or blank spot, distortion of objects, or simply blurred vision. While juvenile macular degeneration is fairly rare, age-related macular degeneration affects millions of Americans. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, impacting nearly one-third of Americans age 75 and older.

The Macular Degeneration Center in the Casey Eye Institute at OHSU is one of the few centers in the United States dedicated to uncovering the cause and improving treatment of this eye disease. Through innovative techniques in molecular genetics, investigators at OHSU continue to be leaders in the study of hereditary eye diseases. In addition, the Elk's Children's Eye Clinic is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of vision loss in youngsters. The center offers a complete array of services from routine eye exams to surgery for serious eye problems, such as retinopathy and pediatric glaucoma.
M t. Hood Ski Bowl, Mt. Hood Software, Columbia Sportswear and Platt Electric Supply sponsor the Kyle Curran Memorial Ski Race. Skiers of all ages and skill levels are invited to participate in the event. The race fee is $27. There is no fee for spectators. Donations to the memorial fund can be sent to the Casey Eye Institute, 3375 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97201.