BISMARCK, N.D. - For athletes, paying attention to what you eat can be as important as having a good strength and conditioning program.
St.Mary's senior Carter Klein has to be more picky about what he can eat after being diagnosed with Wilson's disease this past winter.
What seemed like a common visit to the doctor to get acne medication in February ended up being a visit that changing Carter Klein's life forever.
"They noticed my liver enzymes weren't quite where they should've been. They were a little high and so it went from there to trying to figure out what was wrong because they figured it'd go down in a couple of months and stuff like that and it didn't quite go down. After they looked into it they kind of came to the conclusion that it was Wilson's so they took a liver biopsy," says Carter.
Doctors sent the Klein's to Mayo Clinic where the diagnosis was confirmed.
"We started researching Wilson's. You know, Wilson's is a disease that usually gets caught pretty late. You know, we were lucky to catch it early and so we felt we were very lucky that he was diagnosed early with Wilson's so we could get treatment before it got too far," says Kevin Klein, Carter's dad.
Wilson's causes copper to build up inside several vital organs, so Carter's food has to be closely monitored as so does his drinking water. Just going to a fountain is not an option.
The diagnosis ended his hockey season.
"You know I came to practices and went to the games you know stayed with the team and stuff. I'm very thankful for them they helped me through it. They'd stay positive with me," says Carter.
"He stayed strong through it and he never quit he kept pushing himself through it and he knew that golf was coming up, and he just kept pushing his way through that and he told himself he was going to do a good job at it and he did," says Kevin.
Doing a good job meant paying closer attention to his body. Wilson's can even affect a person's movement if they're not careful.
"I never got to the point where I had to call it, but there was definitely a couple times where I got a little shaky. I needed some food and water and stuff like that. There was a couple tournaments like that where it was getting to a point where I needed to replenish but other than that I never really called it quits. I always tried to finish through and get done with what I started with," says Carter.
As he heads into his senior year Carter does not plan on slowing down or letting Wilson's disease define him.
Carter finished ninth at the State Golf tournament in June and is currently second on the Dakota Junior Golf Tour.