Golf tournament set to benefit former Sleepy Eye resident Mike Huiras

Submitted photo Mike Huiras (center) needs a double-lung transplant as a result of dyskeratosis congenita. He is pictured with his son Ben and his daughter Isabel. There will be a golf tournament in Sleepy Eye on August 17 to help raise money for him.

SLEEPY EYE — After a one year break, the Huiras Family Memorial Golf Tournament will once again take place at the Sleepy Eye Golf Course on Saturday, August 17.

This year, the event is in its third year and will help raise money for Team Telomere (formerly Dyskeratosis Congenita, Inc.) as well as Mike Huiras, who is affected by dyskeratosis congenita and was recently diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. He will need new lungs as a result of the disease.

The golf tournament is $50 to participate and that includes the nine-hole scramble, a golf cart and lunch. There is space for 72 golfers (18 teams of four) and pre-registration is already open. Golfers can pre-register by contacting Adam Huiras at adam@connectmankato.com. Registration on the day of the event begins at 7:45 a.m. with an 8:45 a.m. tee-off.

Huiras, 45, has two children, Ben (14) and Isabel (11). Huiras graduated from Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s High School in 1992 and he currently lives in Kasson. His younger brother Joe Huiras died in December 2017 as a result of dyskeratosis congenita.

Mike Huiras developed pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes scar tissue (fibrosis) to build up in the lungs, decreasing the transport of oxygen into the bloodstream last year. As a result, he needs a lung transplant.

According to the Genetics Home Reference website (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/dyskeratosis-congenita) dyskeratosis congenita is a disorder that can affect many parts of the body.

People with dyskeratosis congenita are especially vulnerable to disorders that impair bone marrow function. Affected individuals may develop aplastic anemia, also known as bone marrow failure, which occurs when the bone marrow does not produce enough new blood cells. They are also at higher than average risk for myelodysplastic syndrome and they are at increased risk of developing leukemia even if they never develop myelodysplastic syndrome.

In addition, they have a higher than average risk of developing other cancers, especially cancers of the head and neck.

Huiras’ cousin, Robin Huiras, said that Mike will be going to Pittsburgh at the end of August to do an evaluation for a double-lung transplant.

Robin Huiras said that anyone that wants to register as an organ donor can go to https://www.donatelife.net. People who cannot attend the fundraiser, but want to donate, can go to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/tee-ing-off-against-dc-the-huiras-family-memorial-golf-tournament.