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Cowboy with Cancer Loses His Leg But Gets Back With His 'Soul Mate'

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.

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(credit: CBS)

"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.

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(credit: Charles 'Doc' Dison)

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.

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(credit: Charles 'Doc' Dison)

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."

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(credit: CBS)

"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.

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(credit: Zach Harvey of Creative Technology Prosthetics)

"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.


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