The world is honoring Steven Holcomb, one of the world’s best bobsled drivers, for his accomplishments on and off the ice. After having his Keratoconus treated, he won Olympic gold in Vancouver and two silver medals in Sochi. He often spoke about his triumph over Keratoconus and saw how he inspired thousands of people to do the same. His legacy lives on through the procedure that bears his name (Holcomb C3-R) and through a philanthropic foundation named in his honor to carry out one of his missions: to help others with Keratoconus.
In February 2010, Steven Holcomb was on top of the world after winning the Gold Medal for USA as the driver for the 4-main bobsled competition at the Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Again, Steven broke records at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, by navigating the sled to medaling positions in both the 2-man and 4-man events.
This is an amazing feat for anyone, let alone someone with a visual disability. Steven has Keratoconus, an eye disease which weakens the collagen cross fibers within the cornea. The condition was so advanced that he was considered legally blind. He retired in 2007 after consulting with 12 other surgeons and receiving the grim prognosis that a cornea transplant was his only option and visually he was no putting his teammates’ safety at risk.
Just like his vision, his dreams for winning the Gold faded. His lifelong athleticism came to a screeching halt and he fell into a deep depression. When his teammates and coaches saw this, they knew that they needed to step in. The Bobsled Federation and US Olympic team knew that Steven was their best hope to reclaim a medal in the bobsled event after a 62 year draught. After some research, Steven’s team doctor came across Dr. Brian and the possibility that Steven’s vision could be restored without the need of a cornea transplant.
His friends, teammates, and family knew that he had to avoid a corneal transplant if he wanted to continue his dreams, so the non-surgical C3-R® treatment (cornea collagen crosslinking), which strengthens the cornea through completely non-invasive techniques, was a welcome alternative. After that treatment, Dr. Brian placed special implants into Steven’s eyes, which dramatically improved his vision.
Steven was able to immediately return to the sport of bobsledding in 2008 and won the World Bobsled Championship in 2009. He went from legally blind to a World Champion in one year!
Due to Steven’s great success the C3-R® procedure was renamed Holcomb C3-R® on April 9th, 2010 on The Doctors, Dr. Phil’s highly regarded medical talk show. This was the first time a medical procedure had been named in admiration of a Gold Medal athlete. Both Dr. Brian and Holcomb C3-R® are now known worldwide.
Steven’s book, But Now I See, follows his journey through this difficult time to the present, where he is living his dreams for which he worked his entire life. His story has been inspirational to millions who suffer from Keratoconus and were unaware of alternative treatments to the painful cornea transplant. Steven’s story brings hope to those who thought they would just have to live with the devastating vision loss from Keratoconus or undergo a painful cornea transplant.
Dr. Brian and his Holcomb C3-R® have restored the lives of thousands of good people like you.