Teenager Olivia Wehle was just a regular kid whose love of dance began when she was 4 years old. She practiced several nights a week at a local dance studio and, until she began to experience back discomfort, never dreamed she'd stop.
But the discomfort turned into pain, which eventually became excruciating, and physical therapy prescribed by Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Paul Rubery, director of the UR Medicine Spine Center, wasn't lessening the pain. Imaging revealed a dangerous tumor that was growing around her spine. An extensive emergency surgery with a multidisciplinary team at Golisano Children's Hospital to remove the tumor and rebuild her spine was the only option.
Olivia met that challenge head-on with quiet determination and, in the process, amazed her parents, Cathi and Corey Wehle; her medical team; and all who know her. Her goal was simple: To return to dance in time for her next recital. She had eight weeks.
"She showed no fear, no doubt," recalls her mother. "There was only drive and only perseverance."
UR Medicine Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation offers the largest and most comprehensive orthopaedic services in the region, covering every subspecialty in orthopaedics, including sports medicine, spine, trauma, pediatrics, adult reconstruction and orthopaedic tumors. The department is a national leader in orthopaedic research; as the National Institutes of Health’s second-ranked orthopaedics research team, the department has become synonymous with better patient results through research.
The department boasts a proud history of leadership in orthopaedic care and research that includes creating the gold standard for basal joint arthritis with the “Burton Procedure;” having the first team in the nation perform meniscal repairs in the knee; and having faculty members who have served for more than 30 years as directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The department’s Center for Musculoskeletal Research has a distinguished history for bettering musculoskeletal health for the patients of today and tomorrow.
Your generosity enables the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation to continue to serve as a leader in medical excellence, giving those with even the most complex medical conditions reason for hope.
You Can Help
Please contact Dianne Moll to learn more about ways you can help:
(585) 329-5398 or Dianne.moll@Rochester.edu.