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Glaucoma patient, 90, sets his sights on international competition

Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center | Eye Care

Frank Weber is 90 years old, and he has glaucoma and macular degeneration. Yet despite his age and eye disease, he excels at the shot put, discus and javelin.

In fact, Frank is one of the best in the country and world in those events for his age group. Frank, who turned 90 in May 2014, competes in local, regional and international meets through the Senior Games.

 
In the 2014 season, he set the Washington State Senior Games record in the javelin for the 90 to 95 age group with a throw of 44 feet 4 inches. At the 2014 Huntsman World Senior Games, Frank finished second in the discus, javelin and shot put. He is in the top 10 in the USA Track & Field masters ranking for the 90–94 age division in each sport. “I’m not a strong guy, I just compete,” says Frank, who took up the sport when he was 81 years old after one of his doctors told him about it. “I wrestled in high school and ran a little bit, but I never competed in these events.”

 
Frank was diagnosed with macular degeneration in his right eye and glaucoma in his left eye. He has been under the care of Steven Mansberger, M.D., of Legacy Devers Eye Institute. “The right eye gets kind of blurry at times,” Frank explains, “but the left eye is fine. I put some drops in, and it doesn’t bother me much. “I don’t really have any other health problems,” says Frank, who had a career in the Navy after joining at age 17. “I guess I have just stayed active.”

Dr. Mansberger said, “Mr. Weber is an inspiration to me. He stays very active despite his eye disease and not only competes but wins national and international sporting events! He also represents our increasingly more active patients. Vision is so valuable for what they do. I feel blessed that I can help them keep their vision and allow them to continue their active lifestyles.”

Frank appreciates the thought that he could be an inspiration to Dr. Mansberger and others. But he says that his reason for competing is simple. “I just enjoy it,” he says.