Patient Profile

Carter Patients "Carry the Torch"

Sandy Foltz

Long, long before Valentine's Day, some 14,000 U.S. citizens were on the move cross country - "carrying the torch" to proclaim their love of competitive sports and the Olympic/Paralympic ideals.

Ignited in Olympia, Greece, on Nov. 19, the 2002 torch passed through 46 states, averaging 248 miles per day, before it reached its destination in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to running, the hundreds of torch bearers used skis, snow shoes, wheelchairs, mountain bikes, roller blades, and other modes of transportation in moving the flame from point to point.

The people chosen for the ultimate torch-bearing honor were selected based on their lives as inspiration to others, including those nominated for their successful response to a disabling condition.

Carter Orthopedics has had a front row seat in recent years since Joe Carter, CPO, has had the pleasure of having two patients chosen as Olympic torch bearers. The most recent was retired school teacher Sandy Foltz, a below knee amputee, who did a run segment in Erie on New Year's Day. While Sandy was volunteering at a summer sidewalk benefit ten years ago, a car jumped the curb and pinned her against a building, damaging her leg. Her positive response to amputation and her example to students as an upbeat role model earned her nomination to the Olympic Committee, her prosthetist noted.

Four years ago, another Carter patient, bilateral amputee Ron Holmann who was injured on his mail route in 1994, carried the torch at the '98 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. He was also chosen for the honor prior to the 1996 Games in Atlanta, carrying the torch in Erie.

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