In 2008, after enduring weeks of awful chemotherapy, Dugan met with his savior, Dr. Joel Mayerson, a cancer expert from Ohio State University. Knowing how much Dugan loved baseball, Dr. Mayerson proposed a martian-like surgery called a Van Nes rotationplasty, which could not only save his life, but also his dream. The procedure involves amputating the entire leg, cutting out the upper part housing the cancer, and then reattaching the lower half to the hip. Oh, and to make that mental image even more topsy-turvy, the leg also rotates 180 degrees, with the foot pointing at your butt, just to make it look even more like you got worked on by a very incompetent Igor.
Ohio State Medical Center
But nothing would be further from the truth, because this amazing procedure allowed Dugan's heel to be jury-rigged into a knee on which to place a lower leg prosthetic, giving him a whole lot more mobility and support than any full-length prosthetic leg ever could. Today, an adult Dugan is completely cancer free, plays both baseball and basketball, and like a true champ, wants to dedicate his life to designing better prosthetics to help others like him keep knocking it out of the park.