John Leeder

When asked how he initially injured his leg, John Leeder chuckles, “I was in France! I wanted to show off a bit, so I jumped off of a castle!” And just like that, you’re hooked. Even when sharing a difficult story, John is animated, warm, and engaging. He’s the kind of person you could listen to all day.

After jumping, John had pain and swelling – he knew something was wrong. He traveled home to Aspen, Colorado, where x-rays revealed his right knee had a ligament rupture.  What should have been a simple surgery to evaluate his injury resulted in a limb-threatening MRSA infection and a partial knee replacement. Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of what would be a long and challenging battle with infection.

In 2015, John was connected with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ross Wilkins and infectious disease specialist Dr. Wendy Gill in Denver, Colorado. For a year, Drs. Wilkins and Gill worked together to control the infection. Finally, John was able to undergo the total knee revision he so desperately needed.

During his 4-year battle with infection, John found comfort in ‘social therapy’, spending time with his friends and loved ones. Just before this photoshoot, he had recently returned from a trip with his son to Hawaii. Being able to travel again is one of the things John looks forward to most about having his health back!


Buffalo is a 12-year-old Great Dane who is as handsome as he is sweet. In February of 2016, a routine visit to his veterinarian at Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center ended with a diagnosis of osteosarcoma. Because of Buffalo’s size, his doctors and parents decided a limb-salvage surgery was the best option. After surgery, he started chemotherapy as well as physical therapy and acupuncture to aid in his healing.

Buffalo continues to do well in his recovery! He truly is a ‘wonder dog’ in more ways than one. Not only has he overcome osteosarcoma, but Buffalo was also born deaf and is completely trained with hand signals! When he is not enjoying his beauty sleep, Buffalo loves riding in the truck with his dad.