CANON CITY, Colo. (CBS4)– A year ago, a cowboy from Canon City lost his right leg to bone cancer. But Charles “Doc” Dison hasn’t let it stop him.
Thanks to a high tech prosthesis, the 66-year-old is back in the saddle of his pet and companion, a steer that weighs more than a ton.
“Tell me he’s not all heart,” Doc said while scratching the steer under the chin.
The big animal is 2,300 pounds of heart and horns, a 14-year-old Texas Longhorn, named Blizzard. Doc calls him his soul mate.
“No more of a wonderful feeling than to have an animal like that love ya,” Doc told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Blizzard was part of Doc’s Old West act until two years ago, when Doc just couldn’t saddle up.
“It hurt so bad, I couldn’t ride him,” he said.
“It” was Doc’s right leg. At the Institute for Limb Preservation at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center (P/SL), Orthopedic Oncologist Dr. Daniel Lerman found cancer, osteosarcoma.
“This whole area that you see here is replacing the normal bone,” Lerman explained.
And other problems with the leg had caused Doc pain for years.
“My foot turned in, my leg was short,” he explained.
Doc had aggressive chemotherapy at P/SL. Then he opted to have his leg amputated at the knee joint.
“Take it off, let’s get her done,” he told Lerman.
“First time I been pain free in 15 years,” Doc said, “and back with my soul mate.”
“His goal from day one was to get back on the bull,” said Lerman.
Six months after surgery, Doc’s high-tech prosthesis was hand delivered to his home in Canon City by Zach Harvey of Creative Technology Prosthetics.
Twenty minutes after giving it a try, there is video showing Doc getting back up on Blizzard.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Doc said at the time.
Doc lives by that motto and he doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
“You wait ’til something big comes along. I haven’t found nothing big yet,” he said.
He probably never will.
There is a GoFundMe to help Doc with his medical bills.