October 2014




Physician hikes Camino de Santiago de Compostela to raise awareness of AMD

by EyeWorld Staff

Indore Tourist

Edward Kondrot, MD, has successfully hiked the 500-mile pilgrimage through France and Spain along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or the Way of St. James as it is sometimes known in English, with proceeds from pledges for his trip going to the Restore Vision Foundation.

Dr. Kondrot, Healing the Eye and Wellness Center, Dade City, Fla., made the journey with his wife, Ly, across 2 mountain ranges, the countryside, plains, orchards, and vineyards this summer. The famous hike dates to medieval times as a Christian pilgrimage and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They completed the trip in 32 days, a day earlier than the 33 days they had planned on.

It was a joy to share this experience with my wife. We survived the Camino together. If a couple can survive the Camino, they can survive anything together, Dr. Kondrot said. They raised more than $5,000 for the Restore Vision Foundation, an Arizona nonprofit corporation dedicated to furthering awareness of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Father Kevin Codd, author of To the Field of Stars, gave me this advice: Your initial intentions for doing the Camino will change at the end, and you will never be able to share your experience. It is impossible for non-Camino pilgrims to understand, he said.

The journey has changed his life, Dr. Kondrot said, showing him how to share the joy of life with fellow travelers on the challenging trek. These strangers soon became friends, he said.

I began the Camino as another extreme endurance event in my life and decided to dedicate it to raising awareness and giving hope to people with macular degeneration, he said. I look at life much differently now. Dr. Kondrot was featured in an EyeWorld article a year ago, in the October 2013 issues In other news section. The article, Ophthalmologist bikes for awareness of alternative treatments, highlighted his 335-mile bike trip to raise awareness of AMD. To me its an important cause, he said of AMD in that article. To read that article, visit digital.eyeworld.org.

Physician hikes Camino de Santiago de Compostela to raise awareness of AMD Physician hikes Camino de Santiago de Compostela to raise awareness of AMD
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