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Quelet wants patients to join him on slopes

March 29, 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, Md. The 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.

Quelet said 67 disabled attendees enjoyed a day on the slopes using one of two methods either sit-skiing, in which they ride in a bucket on skis or three-tracking, where a one-legged amputee skis with outriggers, which are poles with half skis.

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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 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 opened an office in Gettysburg, Pa., a year earlier.

It took eight years of training 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, not 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 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."

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