Foster Finell has always been physically active, making his living since the 1980’s farming under Saskatchewan’s sunny skies in the town of Ponteix. He also works part-time in the hospitality sector, and is an avid golfer. When he was seriously injured in a head-on collision, Foster gained new appreciation for his mobility.
The December 1995 accident left Foster with a displaced hip that ultimately required replacement the following July. While he’s never known the pain of arthritis, he knows well the challenge to regain one’s mobility. He credits his full recovery to a positive attitude and dedication to exercise therapy. “It was a full year from the date of my accident – almost to the day – before I was back to work full-time. It’s hard work.”
Fast-forward to the last Saturday in May 2009. Foster’s annual golf tournament raised over $1,600 for the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation, with friends and family gathered to help Foster celebrate his mobility with some supper, a bit of golf, and the prairie sunshine. “This year, we had the largest-ever family contingent,” says Foster, with quiet pride. “My brothers and sisters come, nieces and nephews, and now the grand nieces and nephews.”
For over a decade, Foster has topped fundraising efforts for bone and joint health in his home province. The tournament is still going strong, and so is Foster’s hip.
Even his surgeon, he says, is impressed. When his hip does ache occasionally, Foster finds relief through exercise, using his stationary bike in the winter months. He’s also cautious about his weight, after having gained – and then having had to lose – over 30 lbs that bothered his hip. When asked how he lost the weight, he says with a smile in his voice, “Oh, I met a girl …”
That girl, Linda Jervais, is now his partner. Not only is Foster grateful for her inspiration, but her help with the tournament, and for his family’s help. “It’s become a family reunion as well.”
After 12 years, Foster’s tournament has raised over $15,000, and through sharing his story, he raises the spirits of others with their own road to recovery ahead.