“My name is Scott Jerome McCrady and I was diagnosed with Coats’ disease when I was 5 years old and
couldn’t pass my elementary school eye exam. My parents took me to an optometrist and then a retinal
specialist in my home town. The retinal specialist suspected Coats’ disease and referred us to a specialist
in Denver. The specialist in Denver was one of the preeminent experts on Coats’ in the US and was able
to confirm the diagnosis. After 3 rounds of cryogenics and laser surgeries, and the loss of 90% vision in
my left eye, my condition stabilized. I have a small window of blurred vision in the left eye but can see
fast motion and light. The eye itself has permanently drifted to the left. But, mother nature
compensated and gave me 15-20 eyesight in my right eye.
Although Coats’ disease has made my life a little more interesting, I have refused to let it affect me.
During my life I always found solace in water, on the mountain, and on the golf course. I started
competitive swimming when I was in elementary school. I continued to compete until I graduated from
high school and then went on to play water polo. I held high school records in the men’s 100-yard breast
stroke and the 200 and 400 medley relays. My whole family plays golf and I have played along with them
for as long as I can remember. I competed on the varsity team in high school and still play as often as I
can. People I play with for the first time often have a hard time comprehending the fact that I have no
depth perception but can still hit and track a golf ball 300 yards away. Even though my game has
suffered from not enough practice, I can still shoot in the mid to high 70’s. Lastly, growing up in
Colorado I fell in love with the mountains and skiing is one of my true passions. As a family we still go to
the cabin in the mountains every weekend during the winter to ski and escape the world. I have always
been a speed demon but still love to venture off and ski the trees and moguls.
After high school I went on to Colorado State University where I graduated with honors in Construction
Management. I am currently a Cost Estimator and Scheduler for an international engineering company.
Growing up with Coats’ was sometimes challenging. Despite having the physical size to play contact
sports I was limited by not having full peripheral vision to keep me safe. Many of my classmates didn’t
understand the condition and an only saw a drifting eye, but I always tried to make the best of it and
prove them wrong. I played tee ball when I was younger and then started moving towards fast pitch as I
got older. I always had difficulty hitting the ball but a coach who worked with me realized that if I
switched to the other side of the plate and bat left handed I could see the ball coming much better. I
have been playing that way ever since and now play on a softball team as the catcher and let other
people track down the balls hit in the air.
Throughout my years I have never let Coats’ Disease stand in my way and have always found different
ways to go about doing the things that I love. Even though growing up with the disease has led to some
difficult times, I have always had the support of my family and close friends that understand and help
me through it.
Through working with the Coats’ foundation, I hope to help families and patients realize that this disease
should never hold you back from doing the things that make you happy. I want to share my stories and
my life with the world and show that just because you have this rare disease you should never hide it or
let it define you. I would like thank the Jack McGovern Foundation for their hard work and look forward
to be a part of the team.”