View our photo gallery of past events
Grand Teton Mountain – June 2010
In June of 2010, LiveActive continued its efforts to support healthy, active lifestyles and orthopaedic research at Rush. With a group of 11 climbers, LiveActive set its sights on the summit of the Grand Teton (13,370 ft.) in Wyoming. Dr. Brian Cole of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush joined his patients John Golden, Benita Levy and Andy Littaritz on this incredible adventure. In addition, Dr. John Fernandez, also of Midwest Orthopaedics joined the climb. The Grand Teton climb was the second successful group climb under the LiveActive banner. We received such great feedback from our participants that we are looking to provide more events in the coming calendar year. As always, these events help support the LiveActive Fund -- providing support for orthopaedic research and rehabilitation emphasizing the importance of living an active lifestyle.
"If you are looking for a turnkey and challenging adventure, LiveActive pulls together a phenomenal experience. LiveActive made complex trip logistics appear like a walk in the park. Provided you are willing to train for it, I would recommend a LiveActive adventure to anyone. I loved it! The experience and the views were an opportunity of a lifetime." - Ann M.
"What made my LiveACTIVE trip such a positive experience, was the support system. From the moment you sign up, they help you with education, physical and mental training, nutrition, acclimatization and any other detail you need - both in group preparation meetings but also one-on-one counseling. LiveACTIVE is passionate about the pursuit of personal goals. I will never forget the experience or the team that made it happen for me!" - Andy H.
Mt. Rainier - July 2009
In July 2009, LiveActive organized its first group fundraising climb. A group of 11 climbers set out in July to climb 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier. Dr. Brian Cole and Dr. John Ferndandez of Rush University Medical Center and Midwest Orthopeadics teamed up with other doctors, physical therapists and trainers on this four-day adventure. The Rainier climb proved to be a challenging but rewarding experience for the team and brought together a number of health care professionals helping to support LiveActive’s goals.
"As a LiveActive team member on the July 2009 Mt. Rainier expedition, I had a tremendously enjoyable and rewarding climbing experience. The team was very fun and supportive, and I was really impressed by how cohesive we became in such a short time. I felt a great deal of personal satisfaction (and fatigue!) in reaching the summit with this group, and as a physician, pride in helping increase awareness for a worthy cause." - Greg K.
"Why climb a mountain? You will never know the 'why' until you do it. Climbing Mt. Rainier will live as one of the most pivotal points in my life. I gained a deeper understanding of what I was truly made of and how I really choose to show up to life. I would recommend this experience to anyone who wants a challenge, loves the outdoors and enjoys the patience and diligence that it takes not only to reach the top, but to come back down." - Daphne S.
Mt. Everest - March 2009
John Golden was told he needed a steel rod put into his leg after a catastrophic knee injury. He was told he would have a hard time getting around for the rest of his life. He was 38 years old.
For Golden this was not an acceptable outcome. He began to look for alternatives. This led him to Rush Hospital and the office of Dr. Brian Cole. Cole had just the solution he was looking for and was able to give Golden a “second” chance at living an active lifestyle.
Not to miss the significance of Cole’s work, Golden took his rehabilitation seriously. Empowered by a new exercise routine, dieting habits and outlook on what might be possible, Golden started climbing mountains. This new endeavor was driven by a desire to see what was possible with his new knee. Going far beyond what anyone though Golden would, or could, do he set his sights on climbing the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest.
It took 18 months of training and climbing a lot of mountains to get ready for Everest, but in March of 2009 Golden left the states to start his Everest Expedition.
His goal while climbing Everest was to see what was possible. Each new elevation reached was a triumph not only for Golden, but also for Cole and countless other who had become involved in this project. Golden hoped his story would be an inspiration to others showing that it was possible to live an active life despite significant challenges.
High on the mountain, Golden was caught in a storm and became injured while descending. His injuries kept him from reaching the summit of Everest, but his hard work and perseverance kept him alive during that stormy descent. For Golden, Cole and the LiveActive team–the expedition was a huge success. Golden came home safely and had performed well beyond anyone’s expectations in some of the most demanding conditions imaginable.
Golden and Cole are still climbing mountains, encouraging others to join them and live actively. Additionally, money raised through their mountain climbing and other adventures helps the LiveActive foundation achieve its mission to support orthopaedic research at Rush and raise awareness about the importance of physical activity.
"My wife and I had never been hiking before. When the opportunity arose to share an important moment with friends, we took the chance and joined LiveACTIVE on a trek to Everest Basecamp. Our guides spent time to ensure the entire group had a wonderful experience. We had informative pre-planning and trip preparation sessions before our departure to ensure we were ready to fully enjoy the adventure.
During the trek we were prepared every morning as to what to expect for the day, what to pack, and techniques to maximize the experience. This was truly a memorable adventure."
- Rick G.
Mt. Shuksan - August 2008
The foundation for LiveActive was laid in August of 2008 when Dr. Brian Cole and patient John Golden climbed Mt. Shuksan in Washington State. Golden had a meniscus transplant and a femoral condyle allograft performed by Cole in 2005. In an effort to focus his rehabilitation, Golden set a goal of climbing a mountain–a big step for someone who was once told he might have trouble getting up and down stairs.
After a lot of hard work, Golden climbed his first mountain in September of 2007 - 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier. What he thought would be a once in a lifetime event quickly became a full-time passion for Golden. It was not long before Dr. Cole had heard enough stories to want to try mountain climbing himself.
On Mt. Shuksan, Dr. Cole got to see first hand just how well his patient was doing. Thanks to the surgery performed by Cole and the focused rehabilitation effort of Golden, the two were pushing the limits of what anyone thought possible.
The experience confirmed for both Dr. Cole and Golden that the doctor-patient relationships goes far beyond the operating room. The importance of maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle post surgery was undeniable as this doctor-patient team made their way to the summit of Mt. Shuksan.
After the Shuksan experience, Golden and Cole decided it was important to share the lessons they had learned with others. Together they built LiveActive. LiveActive is focused on finding innovative solutions for orthopaedic patient care and emphasizing the importance of active lifestyles for all. Living an active lifestyle well into our senior years is something we all hope for. LiveActive is helping to turn those hopes into realities.
Reaching the Summit for Orthopedic Research
On March 5th we were pleased to celebrate John Golden's incredible journey from debilitating injury to peak performance as he prepared for the pinnacle of climbing ambition: the summit of Mt. Everest. The event marked the launch of the LiveActive Fund for Orthopedic Research and Education at Rush. The fund honors the tenacity of patients like John and the Rush clinicians and researchers whose dedication continues to redefine what’s possible for orthopedic patients everywhere.
The event raised nearly $60,000 for the LiveActive Fund for Orthopedic Research and Education at Rush. Shown below are several photos from the event. The evening was one of education, awareness, and celebration of the advances in orthopedic research and providing a healthy and active lifestyle to those previously facing debilitating physical challenges.
Our program featured:
- Dr. Larry Goodman, President and CEO, Rush University Medical Center
- Dr. Brian Cole, MD, MBA – Director, Rush Cartilage Restoration Center
- Mark Verstegen, Founder and Chairman, Athletes' Performance
- John Golden, EVP, and CIO CNA Insurance Companies
While unable to join the event live, Mark Verstegen sent a video offering a very motivational message to all about the four aspects of living active: mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery.