Revisiting The Hippy Sisters: A Story of Hope, Healing and Having Fun


The Hippy Sisters held their 5th Annual HipCheck & ChickFest at the end of August, 2010. They all received good news from their beloved Dr. Berry and spent the rest of the time celebrating their friendship and pain-free lives.  They made sure they went out dancing, because now they can!

The Hippy Sisters in front of Rochester Methodist Hospital, which they affectionately refer to as their second birthplace

Some patient support groups are developed formally, with a mission statement, mailing list, annual goals and hundreds of members. Others develop more organically. Five Mayo patients, who call themselves the Hippy Sisters, started their small support group without even realizing it.


Dr. Daniel Berry with his patients, the Hippy Sisters

Dr. Daniel Berry with his patients, the Hippy Sisters

Kay Anderson, Beth Denton, Barbara Nunke, Rachel Petersen and Cathy Weber met through online chats on the Totally Hip Support Group website.


They were drawn to each other’s posts because they were all quite a bit younger than the average recipient of a hip replacement. They weren’t all Mayo Clinic patients to begin with, but after talking with each other and other patients online and conferring with their own doctors, they all became patients of orthopedic surgeon Daniel J. Berry, M.D., at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.


Dancing on new hips!

Dancing on new hips!

The women have supported each other through surgery and recovery and cheer each other on every day via the Web and e-mail. They also hold an annual reunion by arranging to have their appointments with Dr. Berry at the same time. At their last reunion in November 2008, they went dancing for hours to celebrate their fabulous hips – something they could not have done prior to their surgeries.


 Five women from four different states bonded in ways they could never have imagined because of their shared medical issues and because of the care they received at Mayo Clinic. If you would like to connect with the Hippy Sisters to talk about hip replacement, please leave a comment here.  They would be happy to respond.

Where do you find support? Send in your comments below to let us know if you have formed a Mayo patient or caregiver support group. Or if you are part of a more formal support network. What has connecting with other patients or caregivers meant to you?

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7 Responses to “Revisiting The Hippy Sisters: A Story of Hope, Healing and Having Fun”

  1. Ollie Dickerson Says:

    Very good text. I’ve found your blog via Yahoo and I’m really glad about the information you provide in your articles. Btw your sites layout is really broken on the Chrome browser. Would be really great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

  2. superhipchick Says:

    So happy for these women…and as those of us who have undergone “hip preservation” surgeries can attest, having wonderful surgeons who have given us back our lives is absolutely priceless and we are truly blessed for having them in our lives.

    Congratulations ladies!

    For anyone looking for support groups online for hip preservation (dysplasia, impingement, labral tears) there are links on my blog.

  3. Sylvia Berner Says:

    Dear Hippy Sisters,
    I am a 67 year old lady who has developed severe arthritis of my hips . I am taking the water aerobics class, two tylenol arthrtis tablets every morning, and Move Free (glucosomine/ chondroitin) to ease the pain in walking in my attempt to avoid
    major surgery. Also, I smear topical ointments on my thighs, plus I use a heating pad and ice to relinquish pain. I am trying my best as you can see to cope with my situation.
    However, I heard that the Mayo Clinic is the best place to
    get help for my problem. I realize that you found satisfaction at Mayo in Dr. Berry’s care, who I believe is the department’s
    chair doctor. Please share with me your experiences and what
    you believe my experience will be as a prospective patient.
    Sylvia Berner-Flint, Mi.

  4. Josephine at BoneSmart Says:

    There is a great support network in BoneSmart. There’s nothing like getting support and encouragement from people who have been there before you! All power to you all.

  5. Steve Olson Says:

    It is great to see stories of hope and inspiration such as these.

    I have been blessed to see how surgeries such as these have changed lives.

    Indeed one of the “hippie sisters” is a member of our parish. As as the youth, with whom she volunteers, will attest. Kay is awesome.

    Thank God for the gifts of healing being given through Mayo.

  6. Cathy Weber Says:

    Catherine, thank you for helping us to share our story. I am so very honored that I’ve found these four wonderful Hippy Sisters in my life!

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