Four days before the 2005 Iditarod, Dr. McNamara received a call from his close friend, Martin Buser. An incident with a table saw left Martin with three mangled fingers on his right hand. After a 2 1/2 hour surgery, including an amputated finger, Dr. McNamara delivered the bad news. Martin could not compete, to which Martin replied, “Doc, you leave that to me-do your part and leave the rest up to me.” Determined to continue his 20 year love of racing in the Iditarod, Martin set off down the Iditarod trail covering nearly 1200 miles, stitches and all, to come in 13th place with only 9 1/2 fingers! “Martin’s long finger is no longer his long finger,” said Dr. McNamara, but obviously even such an extreme injury could not dishearten this spirited musher. At the conclusion of the Iditarod, Dr. McNamara was pleased to find that Martin’s amputated middle finger had healed better than most amputations considering that Martin had constantly used his hands both on and off the trail. With four 1st place finishes, Martin Buser is not only an esteemed competitor, but also an example of fortitude and endurance.
With the 2015 Iditarod race only weeks away, all of the providers and staff at AkHES wish Martin Happy Trails!