October 2013




Ophthalmologist bikes for awareness of alternative treatments

by Ellen Stodola EyeWorld Staff Writer

Dr. Kondrot poses at mile marker 167 on his 335-mile bike ride from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.

Dr. Kondrot, his wife, and his son pause on their trip, which they undertook to raise awareness for alternative treatment for age-related macular degeneration.

Dr. Kondrot poses outside The Gingerbread House Bed and Breakfast, which was one of many stops on the trip.

Dr. Kondrot's trip took him through Meyersdale, Pa.

Dr. Kondrot pauses as he is about to bike over the Mason-Dixon Line and enter the state of Maryland.

This chart notes elevation changes over the duration of Dr. Kondrot's bike trip. He traveled along the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Towpath.

Dr. Kondrot's bike ride took place on a number of different terrains over the several hundred miles.

Dr. Kondrot and his wife pose as they conclude their journey in Washington, D.C., after a week of bike riding.

Source (all): Edward Kondrot, MD

In order to raise awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and alternative treatments for the disease, Edward Kondrot, MD, Healing the Eye and Wellness Center, Dade City, Fla., took a break from his practice and went on a 335-mile bike ride in July. For the trip, which took him from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., Dr. Kondrot sought pledges and support from friends, patients, and others to highlight a cause that is very important to him.

The cause and generating support

"To me it's an important cause," Dr. Kondrot said. "There needs to be awareness in the ophthalmic community that there are alternative therapies besides taking vitamins to help folks who are losing their eyesight."

The venue for generating this awareness became clear when Dr. Kondrot heard about a bike trail that originates in Pittsburgh and goes to Washington, D.C. "I grew up in Pittsburgh and went to the University of Pittsburgh, so I have a lot of fond memories of that city even though I practice now in Florida," Dr. Kondrot said.

"We put up a Facebook page and sent out a newsletter to all my patients and friends, asking them to support us by pledging a certain amount per mile." Supporters pledged amounts of either 10 cents, 50 cents, a dollar, or 10 dollars per mile, and Dr. Kondrot said he was overwhelmed by the amount of support his cause received through pledges. All the money will go to the Restore Vision Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization in Arizona that educates doctors on alternative therapies and helps patients who may not be able to afford some of the alternative treatments.

The bike ride

The bike ride itself was 335 miles and completed from July 19 to July 25 by Dr. Kondrot, his wife, and his son. "It was very difficult to do 335 miles," said Dr. Kondrot, who documented his trip via Facebook, posting updates of the journey. He explained that it was often hard to navigate the trails, since most were not paved and were gravel or dirt roads.

Dr. Kondrot said that the weather was one of the many challenges of the trip. Starting in Pittsburgh, the conditions were very humid at around 97 degrees. This was followed by three solid days of rain, which made progress hard on the trail and left everything completely soaked through.

Dr. Kondrot made stops along the way in numerous towns. The first stop in Connellsville, Pa. yielded quite a surprise when he encountered a former patient he had operated on 15 years ago who is now the owner of the bed and breakfast where he stayed. "Every place I stayed, I told them about my cause and offered to send them a complimentary copy of my best-selling book, 10 Essentials to Save Your Sight," Dr. Kondrot said.

The trip was not without other challenges, including a mishap near the end of the trip. About 10 miles to the final destination in Washington, D.C., Dr. Kondrot lost two spokes on his rear wheel and could not ride anymore. Luckily, another bike ride was going on in the city, and someone was able to take him to a bike shop to fix the wheel so that he could finish. In the end, the trip was completed quicker than the originally estimated 10-day timeframe.

Alternative treatments

Dr. Kondrot said that there are a variety of alternative treatments for which he was trying to raise awareness. These hit especially close to home for Dr. Kondrot because he sees a lot of patients who have been told by other doctors that nothing else can be done for them. He also had a personal experience where an alternative treatment helped him with adult onset asthma.

"Probably the number one [alternative treatment] is good nutrition," Dr. Kondrot said. This goes beyond taking vitamins and requires people to really look at their diet. "The second key area is heavy metal toxicity," he said. A majority of people he sees have heavy metals in their body, and these have to be removed to help patients regain eyesight. "We use other methods, microcurrent stimulations, syntonic light therapy, and we use oxidative treatments," Dr. Kondrot said.

Getting into homeopathy

Dr. Kondrot said that it was his personal experience with alternative treatments that led him into this type of medicine, and specifically a branch called homeopathy.

"I practiced traditional ophthalmology, surgical and medical care, for more than 20 years, and then I developed a severe health issue," he said. With the adult onset asthma, Dr. Kondrot was helped by the third alternative treatment that he tried, and he discovered much more by researching homeopathy. "Homeopathy is a specific way of looking at disease," Dr. Kondrot said.

Under this practice, it is believed that the body has a wisdom, and when you develop a disease or symptom, it is necessary to help the body achieve homeostasis or balance. Homeopathy involves taking medicine that might actually cause the sickness that a person has. "People feel it's far fetched, but even in traditional medicine, we've used a homeopathic approach," Dr. Kondrot said.

"Homeopathy has helped me with my own physical limitations, and it's continuing to help the thousands of patients that I treat based on homeopathic principles," he said. "I think I can make the claim that I'm the only homeopathic ophthalmologist in the world."

Dr. Kondrot said he believes that some of these homeopathic treatments are catching on because many of them have been successful, so more doctors are becoming interested in the techniques.

"I was recently elected the president of the Arizona Homeopathic Medicine Association," Dr. Kondrot said. "Because of this commitment, I feel even more of an obligation to help bring awareness to alternative treatments."

Contact information

Kondrot: drkondrot@healingtheeye.com

Ophthalmologist bikes for awareness of alternative treatments Ophthalmologist bikes for awareness of alternative treatments
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