Knee Replacement Patient Bikes Cross Country to Help Kids With Cancer

Dr. Navin Fernando

Just short of one year after knee replacement, a patient of Dr. Navin Fernando, completed a 3,428 mile cross-country bike trip to raise money for childhood cancer research.

Ray Wittmier, an avid runner, transitioned to biking, hiking, and climbing in his fifties as knee pain made running too painful. Ray visited a physician who confirmed his painful knee had no cartilage left and that he would eventually need a knee replacement.

Ray put off knee replacement not wanting to be laid up recuperating for months.

Online research and recommendations from friends led Ray to UW Medicine and Dr. Navin Fernando.

UW Medicine and Dr. Fernando gave Ray the confidence to proceed with knee replacement surgery. Dr. Fernando's expertise and confidence assured Ray that knee replacement was right for him.

Ray started physical therapy just 6 days after his knee replacement and was skiing on his new knee about 6 moths later. About 11 months after his knee replacement, 67 year-old Ray Wittmier set out from Seattle on a cross-country bike trip.

Ray’s advice for someone putting off a knee replacement?

“Don’t. It’s a new life. When you start changing the way you live and what you do, it's time. You live the life you want. I should have done it five years ago.”

Read the whole story at UW Medicine.