Doctor raises money, awareness for non-profit healthcare programming
PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA) - On Call with the Prairie Doctor has provided South Dakotans across the state, and throughout the region, with valueable medical information for more than nineteen years.
Now, one doctor is kayaking across South Dakota, to help raise awareness and money for the Healing Words Foundation, the non-profit which puts together the Prairie Doc Projects.
That journey is also helping him fight another challenge he wasn’t expecting.
Dr. Ken Bartholomew is an author, full time doctor at Avera in Pierre, and now, a representative for “On Call with the Prairie Doc.”
That last title has led him on his journey across South Dakota, in a kayak down the Missouri River.
“We’re going to do it in legs since I’m still working full time. The next leg is another forty miles from Mobridge to Gettysburg bridge. and we are kind of thinking about trying to do that in two days.” Dr. Bartholomew said.
While Dr. B is raising awareness about healthy lifestyles and the Healing Words Foundation, he’s also focused on another challenge, his own fight against cancer.
“The fact that I have not one not two but three cancers at the same time, one is just a small skin cancer so it is no big deal. I also have both colon and prostate cancer, I have already had one major surgery and I like to stay in shape. Part of my rehab was to challenge viewers of the Prairie Doc TV show was to support this challenge, and me challenging myself to stay in shape and build up my core muscles from kayaking from the North Dakota border to the Nebraska border.”
A common theme in both “On Call with the Prairie Doc” and in Dr. B’s life is health through fitness. It is part of a broader push to see to it that people throughout the state, particularly in rural areas, can get the help they need.
“He wants to promote On Call with the Prairie Doc, and the Healing Words foundation particularly through physical activity like the kayaking, because that meant so much to our founder Rick Holm, our founder and my husband. He was an athletic person, for Dr. B to take this up and have the challenge with physical activity, just fits the profile perfectly." said Joanie Holm, Healing Words foundation President.
So for now, the journey continues for Dr. B, beating his cancer and making it down the river. He says he’ll continue to push others to take care of their health, while he takes care of his, and continues his journey down the Missouri.