Published December 10, 2012
Sisters Deborah and Sandra Fanelli were high school cheerleaders and, later, professional singers and dancers for 20 years.
But in recent years, the twins have developed arthritis so severe that it's hard for them to walk.
On Friday, the 56-year-olds underwent simultaneous and free hip replacement operations at a hospital near Philadelphia.
The surgeries came at no cost to the women because of Operation Walk USA. The program offers free hip and knee replacements for patients without health insurance.
Doctors, hospitals and implant manufacturers donate time and equipment for the procedures. A hip replacement would normally cost about $16,000, plus hospitalization.
About 200 patients nationwide received new joints through the program on Friday.