With more than 800 riders for the 2019 Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal, everyone has a reason to ride. Whether affected by cancer, facing a physical challenge or participating for the first time, these riders are gearing up for the big day. For riders like Craig Bethune, it’s a time to celebrate.

Craig started having pain in his right hip about seven years ago. Being active since childhood, Craig did his best to work through the pain and kept playing tennis, golfing and cycling, including completing Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal twice – 130 km in 2016 and 100 km in 2017.

When Craig’s pain started to get worse, he had trouble sleeping and had to cut back on the activities he enjoyed. That’s when he knew it was time to seek medical help.

Craig’s family physician referred him to Dr. Michael Dunbar, QEII orthopaedic surgeon and QEII Foundation Endowed Chair in Arthroplasty Outcomes.

“After an X-ray and MRI, Dr. Dunbar told me I had pretty severe osteoarthritis in my hip,” says Craig. “He told me it would progressively get worse – and he was right.”

Over the course of the next couple of years, Craig’s pain increased and he tried several different medications. These medications only helped for a while.

Finally, at 52 years old, Craig followed Dr. Dunbar’s recommendation and opted for total hip replacement surgery, which took place on January 30, 2018.

Making the decision to have surgery done under a spinal anesthetic rather than general anesthetic, Craig was walking the halls of the QEII with a walker just hours later. The next day, he was able to walk using only crutches. After passing this milestone, Craig was able to go home after two nights in the hospital.

“I had a wonderful experience at the QEII,” says Craig. “Everyone involved in my care was top-notch and treated me like family.”

Following Dr. Dunbar’s advice, Craig continued his recovery with lots of walking. He started with only 20 steps the first day and increased his distance until he was walking two or three kilometres a day in the first six weeks.

Today, Craig feels very fortunate to have had a full recovery. No longer walking with a limp or using a cane, a titanium implant and a six-inch scar are the only evidence of his surgery.

To celebrate his recovery and the end of his hip surgery journey, Craig is training for the 130 km route at the fifth annual Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal.

Photo caption: Craig Bethune (right) completed 100km, along with friend Jamie Davison (left) in the 2017 Ride for Cancer powered by BMO Bank of Montreal. Following hip surgery at the QEII in 2018, Craig is training for 130km at the 2019 Ride.