By: Ryan LaBar
Nick Moore runs Demon Dirt, an up-and-coming apparel and protection gear company, and is living out his dream job of working in the bike industry. But at the young age of 24, Moore found out that he is going blind.
Moore has a degenerative eye disease called Keratoconus, which occurs when the eye's cornea thins and becomes distorted. "In a nut shell, my body makes a enzyme that eats cornea connective tissues, which causes them to start warping," explained Moore. "My left eye has gotten so bad in 6 months that my brain has actually shut if off, so I am blind now in my left eye, and my right eye is a time bomb."
Currently in the United States there is no approved permanent treatment for Moore's condition. There is, however, an experimental surgery called CR3, where the eye is injected with a protein the body can't break down, and plastic half moons are inserted into the cornea to prop it up and open. The problem for Moore is that because the FDA has not yet approved this surgery, his insurance will not cover it, and because only a handful of surgeons in the United States are qualified to perform it, it will cost about him over $20,000.
Moore and Demon Dirt have started a campaign called I Ride for Nick’s Eyes to help raise money for this surgery. "We are selling a special jersey, t-shirts and stickers. So hook yourself up with some new gear, and it hooks me up with new eyes," said Moore. He continued, "I am amazed by the love from my mountain bike family–a massive list of companies have put up parts for a killer eBay auction, which starts Monday. There will be custom-painted bikes from Banshee and Transition, one-off parts, signed frames from riders like Mike Montgomery and more. All I want is to be able to slash a berm again and design my 2012 line."
Note: Currently over $10k of the $20k needed for the surgery has been raised. Nick Moore and his wife Audrey will head to LA on November, 10, for the surgery.
Here is an emotion-fueled video from Nick Moore about his condition and his I Ride for Nicks Eyes campaign: