Sisters run marathon for hip replacements

A Rondebosch woman is running this weekend’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon to raise money for hip-replacement surgeries.

Ruth Clarke, whose sister, Nicci Annette, will join her on her fund-raising run, was born with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH), which is a condition in which the hip socket is too shallow, so the head of the femur tends to dislocate, causing trauma to the joint.

Ms Clarke suffered debilitating pain in her adult life for more than a decade before undergoing a hip replacement, which changed her life.

“My new hip completely revolutionised my life. My dysplasia was first diagnosed when I started toddling with a limp at about 15 months. Surgeries at the age of two, 12 and 13 kept me going and mostly pain-free until I was in my mid-20s.

“My lowest moment before the surgery was doing the 2010 Soccer World Cup fan walk with my family – I was in excruciating pain and barely able to take in the festive surroundings.

“It was just 2.6km but felt like an eternity to me. Soon after that I went to the surgeon, it was a huge relief to have him look at my X-ray and say, ‘I can’t believe you can walk on this’,”said Ms Clarke.

She said she had been fortunate to have a decent medical aid which covered the cost of her surgery, and now she wants to help someone else who cannot afford the operation.

A new prosthetic joint alone costs R50 000 which is the goal the sisters hope to reach.

So far they’ve raised almost half of that from donations on the Give and Gain website.

Those who donate stand a chance to win a two-night stay for two adults and two children at Morgan Bay Hotel on the Wild Coast.

“We’ve called ourselves The Hip Sisters and we have a great Facebook page under that name, and a donations page all set up.”

Ms Clarke said her surgery had “totally revolutionised” her life taking her from “sedentary with chronic pain to pain-free and running”.

All the funds raised will go to the Joint Care Trust, a Cape Town-based charity that pays for surgeries for those otherwise unable to afford them.

Visit https://www.givengain.com/ap/the_hip_sisters/ to find out more.