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Thinking about others

Quelet recently helped sponsor a weekend ski trip for the disabled

Quelet recently helped sponsor a weekend ski trip for the disabled

March 21, 2006|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Jeffrey Quelet

Age - 33.

Occupation - Vice president of Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc.

Hometown - Gaithersburg, Md. Now lives in Hagerstown.

Where would you see Quelet? - Quelet, who is a certified prosthetist-orthotist, recently helped sponsor a ski event for disabled skiers at Wisp Ski Resort in Garrett County. The weekend event, held Feb. 22 to 24, was organized by Baltimore Adaptive Recreational Sports and caught the attention of Quelet as he was flipping through a trade magazine.

Sixty-seven disabled attendees enjoyed a day on the slopes using one of two methods either sit skiing where they ride in a bucket on skis or three tracking, where a one-legged amputee skis with outriggers, which are poles with half skis - Quelet said.

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While this was the 11th year for the event, it was the first year Quelet's business was a sponsor. He considered this year a fact-finding opportunity and hopes some of his own patients will participate next year.

Quelet and his business partner, Jeff Brandt, opened the Hagerstown office of Ability Prosthetics & Orthotics, Inc. on Mill Street on April 1, 2005. Brandt had opened an office in Gettysburg, Pa., a year earlier.

It took eight years of training - an undergraduate degree from Colorado State, postgraduate study in orthotics and prosthetics at University of Connecticut's School of Allied Health, followed by a one year residency in each discipline -for Quelet to earn certification in his field.

He worked in the field of industrial technology and material sciences after completing his undergraduate work, before making the decision to switch to his current field.

An amputee himself, Quelet would rather let his skills instead of his personal experience, speak for themselves. He was 10 when he was diagnosed with bone cancer, which ultimately led to the amputation of most of his right leg.

Quelet, who is a skier, said he used to volunteer at Winter Park Resort in Colorado and has volunteered with Special Love, Inc., a group that runs a camp for children with cancer.

He said one of the best experiences he had was going to the camp in Front Royal, Va., as a child.

Hobbies - Quelet and his wife have three children, ages 6, 3 and 4 months, so there's little time for leisure activities. He used to do woodworking as a hobby and has made furniture and other items, including a wishing well for his wedding.

What does Quelet like best about Washington County? - Quelet, who lives in Hagerstown, finds the attitudes of people in Washington County a welcome change from big-city attitudes.

"I actually like the patients. People from big cities want big things and fast," Quelet said. "Here, they say 'It's no problem.' That's very refreshing."

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail janeth@ herald-mail.com.

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