The Houston Marathon Runner Back Running After Knee Surgery and the Movement She Built After Family Tragedy

HOUSTON – Running meant everything to Caryn Honig. It was a way to decompress and a way to challenge herself. Caryn had been running since 1985, then all of a sudden she had to stop. Her knees simply could not take it any more.

“I was bone on bone. My knee would even catch, and I would trip. It was really painful,” Caryn told Houston Life. Caryn knew she needed a knee replacement but the doctors she spoke to told her even with surgery she would never run again.

Then, she heard about Dr. Richard Berger, a world renowned Chicago-based orthopedic surgeon at Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, Chicago. Dr. Berger had a solution to Caryn’s dilemma and was so confident he could not only help replace Caryn’s knee but pinky swore Caryn would be running again in no time.

Dr. Berger is known for treating elite athletes, politicians, and celebrities. Even former US President George W. Bush was a patient.

For patients not based in Chicago, Dr. Berger offers a new program called The BEST (Berger Elective Surgical & Telemedicine) Experience. This is a concierge-style service for out-of-town patients that is more convenient and saves patients time and money because they do not have to travel to Chicago for pre- or post-consultations or pre-surgery classes.

Dr. Berger performs hip and knee replacements using a minimally invasive procedure that cuts less tissue and ligaments. This allows for a much quicker recovery compared to traditional surgery and means patients get back to doing what they love, even running marathons!

Houston Life Correspondent, Melanie Camp, with Houston Marathon Runner, Caryn Honig. Caryn was told that she would never run again. Today, she runs half and full marathons. Learn about the orthopedic surgeon who helped get her back racing and how this lead to the running movement Poppy's Run for Life that builds awareness around suicide prevention. (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Caryn traveled to Chicago for surgery and with her new knee, Caryn soon raced back to running including marathons, half and full.

Then tragedy struck. Caryn father died by suicide. Dealing with the heartbreak of suicide in her family, Caryn turned running into a movement called Poppy’s Run for Life and Poppy’s Row for Life.

“My grandfather also died by suicide when I was a teenager, and we never talked about that and when my dad died by suicide, I had to talk about it. The the outlet that I had was running and my running community came together, Dr. Berger stepped up and we created a nonprofit organization. All the proceeds go to suicide prevention and awareness,” Caryn told Houston Life.

For more information on or to donate to Poppy’s Run for Life and Poppy’s Row for Life visit Poppy’s Run for Life online.

For appointments with Dr. Richard Berger, or to learn about the BEST call 312-432-2557 or visit

If you are having thoughts of suicide know you are not alone. It is OK to not be OK. There is support for you. Please call or text the suicide and crisis lifeline on 988.

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