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Author shows support for CF through novel

By Staff | Jun 24, 2011

When he was in 9th grade in 2000, Tyler Moore wanted to be a sports legend. In 2011, he is immortalized by “Tyler’s Mountain Magic” and the cause the book supports.

Malcom Ater, author of “Tyler’s Mountain Magic,” was one of Tyler’s wrestling coaches at Harpers Ferry Junior High School for three years. One of these was the year that Tyler and the team set the statewide record for winning 40 matches in a season in any sport.

“He had a dream, a far-out dream, that he wanted to be a part of something, a record that would stand forever, that could not be broken,” Ater said. “He came to me when school first started in September and said, ‘Coach, can you try to schedule 45 matches for us?'”

Harpers Ferry Junior High’s cross county rivals were caught in a cheating scandal that year. Coaches at that school covered up fungal infections on their wrestlers with makeup and moved boys into weight classes where they didn’t belong. Ater and the other coaches almost resigned to prove a point to the school board.

The team from Harpers Ferry competed and ended up winning the 40 matches required to set the record. This was difficult,?Ater said, since the team had to travel every weekend to compete against other schools.

Tyler was the wrestling team captain that year and kept his teammates excited and motivated towards their goal of setting the record.

Through all of this, Tyler was battling cystic fibrosis. He didn’t want anyone to know and wanted his peers and teammates to treat him just like anyone else.

“I never realized what a devastating disease it was,” Ater said. “He never allowed that to stop him. He just wanted to live a normal life.”

“Tyler’s Mountain Magic” was released in April, and Ater said that the readers’ response to the book has already been overwhelming. Five dollars from each book sold is donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for research in Tyler’s name. On the release day alone, Ater sold over 240 copies at a book signing at the Entler Hotel and raised over $1,200.

On June 11, the book was awarded first place in the 2011 West Virginia Writers, Inc. contest for best book-length novel. Ater is glad that the book and the cause it supports are receiving so much attention.

Ater will be at the Shepherdstown Street Fest this weekend selling and signing copies of “Tyler’s Mountain Magic.” At the Street Fest, $10 will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation from each book sale.

Some of the money raised from book sales was given to Tyler’s parents. A check for $1,500 was presented to Tyler’s mother, who then donated that money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Tyler’s mother, Debra Lambert, believes that a cure for cystic fibrosis is coming soon, and that support from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has already facilitated the production of improved drugs and therapies for cystic fibrosis.

“People living with cystic fibrosis must follow a regular treatment routine to stay healthy and maintain optimal lung function. The FDA approved a drug called Cayston, the first inhaled antibiotic for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, in more than a decade,” Lambert said.

Ater shares her hope that there will be a cure for cystic fibrosis soon.

“I think within five years, there will be a cure. I think people are stepping things up because it’s close,” he said.