Tour de France veteran stricken by knee and hip problems received encouragement and support to keep her cycling
June 7, 2022
PEORIA, Ill. — Marilyn Trout had logged thousands of miles on her bicycle over three decades, but her riding days almost ended when she began experiencing severe knee pain several years ago, then injured her hip.
Faced with such a devastating turn in her cycling career, Trout turned for help to her health care sharing community through Samaritan Ministries International (Samaritan) and was able to receive treatments that put her back in the saddle.
Having competed twice in the famed Tour de France and many other elite cycling races, Trout did not plan to give up cycling without a fight. She had been a serious cyclist beginning in high school in her small hometown in Canada and went on to captain the Canadian women’s team in the first women’s Tour de France in 1984.
Thanks to a non-embryonic stem-cell procedure that was shared by Samaritan members, Trout has just returned from a hiking trip in Spain and is headed to a Tour reunion in France. Along the way, she has been able to share her faith in Jesus with fellow cyclists and others she has met on the road.
“This is a wonderful example of how our members are able to learn about and access little-known treatments,” said Anthony Hopp, chief purpose officer at Samaritan. “Health care sharing gives members the freedom to seek out a variety of therapies, medications, and healings. At the same time, they get encouraging cards and letters, and are being prayed for. This kind of support helps people like Marilyn reach out to others.”
The right-knee pain came after an apparent mismanipulation of Trout’s back several years earlier that had resulted in a bulging disc affecting the L4/L5 spinal segment. Eventually, this affected her right knee. She received some hyaluronic acid injections in her right knee, and the temporary relief inspired her to enter the cycling road race in the 2016 America’s Masters Games. She won the silver medal, but the next year “the left knee went.”
Then in the fall of 2017, Trout read in the Samaritan newsletter about the Centeno-Schultz Clinic, a Regenexx provider near her in Colorado that uses a person’s own stem cells to promote orthopedic healing. Regenexx focuses on “the use of orthopedic bone marrow concentrate to treat common orthopedic conditions to help people avoid surgery (by) using cells from their own body,” according to Regenexx.com.
She contacted the Centeno-Schultz Clinic in the Denver area and had both knees treated as well as her spine.
“Within a week, I was doing core exercises and stairs,” she recalled. “Two weeks later, I started rehab. Five weeks later, I was back on the bike with braces, and, seven weeks later, my husband, Michael, and I went to England to hike for two weeks on uneven ground. They were like new knees. It was amazing.”
It would have been nice if her recovery story ended there. But she later fell and reinjured her left hip. For over two years she had physical therapy, massages, and dry needling, but it was still “constant pain and debilitation.”
She finally called Centeno-Schultz again. They said they could perform a stem-cell and platelet-rich-plasma (PRP) procedure on the problem areas. She had the treatment in January, “and within a week I was walking three miles,” taking the hiking trip to Spain by March.
Trout’s cycling career has offered her great opportunities to share about Christ to others in her community, while traveling, and even at the awards ceremony following a race. A pastor friend has since suggested that she create the International Christian Cycling Club to help spread the Gospel in the cycling community.
“You can see why Samaritan is a good fit for Marilyn,” Hopp said. “It’s all about sharing each other’s health care needs but also about Christian community and sharing the Gospel.”
Samaritan Ministries currently has a membership of 286,026 individuals from 84,940 households.
Samaritan has no limited enrollment period. Government exchange-based health insurance requires signups to occur only during open enrollment periods unless one qualifies for a special enrollment period due to a “life event” such as losing coverage, getting married, moving, or having a baby.
Samaritan Ministries health care sharingoffers additional advantages:
- No network restrictions. When medical care is needed, Samaritan members choose the health care provider, hospital, and pharmacy that work best for them.
- The direct-sharing approach allows members to not only help fellow believers with their medical financial needs but to pray for and connect with them on a regular basis.
- Monthly shares are hundreds of dollars less per month than insurance.
Samaritan gives people of Biblical faith an effective, Bible-driven health care community in which approximately $30 million in medical needs is shared person to person every month. Over the past 27 years, Samaritan Ministries members have shared more than $3 billion in needs while also praying for and encouraging fellow members through personal notes, cards and letters.