Donor Stories

Donor Stories

Learn about the generous individuals who support us.

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Louisa Enz is a successful Realtor / Broker, Team Sales Lead the for the Enz Jimenez Group of Sprinkman Real Estate, based in Madison, and has been a member of the UW Orthopedic Development Board since 2017.

Louisa has strong ties to the University of Wisconsin as she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in rehabilitation psychology from UW-Madison. She also swam competitively for UW while earning her undergraduate degree, and followed that by spending four years as a UW varsity swimming coach.

As a former competitive college athlete with a love for swimming and sports performance, Louisa is passionate about supporting research in orthopedics and sports medicine at UW. She has seen firsthand the impact an orthopedic injury can have on a person’s quality of life. Louisa is confident that the research being conducted by the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation now will create the future of care for not only athletes, but also for physically active individuals of all ages.

Louisa’s husband, Dan, is a manager of the sports rehabilitation program at UW Health, and together with their three kids, they are committed to an active lifestyle.

Louisa believes that advancing the future of orthopedic research is critical to helping people move freely throughout their lives.

“It’s unfortunate that so many people are effected by musculoskeletal injury or disease and yet research in this area has historically been underfunded, partially due to the thought that treating these conditions is important, but not crucial.”

“When I was asked to be on the Orthopedic Development Board, I thought it would be
a great way for me to support the advancement of important research and clinical care,” said Louisa. “My personal and professional background lend themselves well to supporting the goals of The Freedom of Movement Fund. We are fortunate to have this significant and potentially life-changing research happening at UW and I’m proud to do my part in helping to move it forward.”

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.

Jon Goldstein is the chief executive officer of Goldstein & Associates, a private wealth advisory firm in Madison, and is a member of the UW Orthopedic Development Board.

Because of his belief in the promising future of how orthopedic injuries and musculoskeletal diseases will be treated, he is committed to helping advance the research conducted at the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Part of Jon’s motivation for being on the board is because he has experienced orthopedic injuries firsthand. In the early 1990s, Jon had plans to play football for Barry Alvarez and the Wisconsin Badgers. Unfortunately, he fractured vertebrae in his neck prior to playing with the Badgers, so his football career never came to fruition. Although he did not need surgery at that time, the progressive nature of the injury eventually required surgery by UW Health orthopedic spine surgeon Thomas Zdeblick. Since then, he has also had surgery on his shoulder and ruptured Achilles tendon.

While Jon and his wife, Sara, support multiple charities, including their own Madison4Kids Foundation, he chose to join the UW Orthopedic Development Board and support The Freedom of Movement Fund after having a personal epiphany related to his orthopedic injuries.

“Think of how many things are impacted when you don’t have freedomof movement and the ability to simply move,” he said. “If you hurt your hip and you can’t walk, a cascade of other potential medical, metabolic and structural issues begins to happen because of that one thing. And, if there is something that can be done to help the healing process and keep a person actively moving, how many other things would improve or be prevented throughout a person’s lifetime?”

When asked why he chose UWHealth for his care, Jon explained, “I came to UW Health because the physicians are among the best in the country. They specialize in a specific areaof orthopedics. Whether it’s sports medicine, joint replacement, spine surgery or any other area of orthopedics, each surgeon has dedicated his/her career to that discipline. The orthopedic team works together to make sure you have the highest quality care with the most favorable outcome.”

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. George H. Vogt spent his entire professional career in Madison, retiring in December 1990. After retirement, he continued to follow advancements in orthopedic and stem cell research, and how this research impacts patient care. He was especially interested in how regenerative medicine could one day help the body self-heal, potentially helping thousands of people avoid painful musculoskeletal conditions like osteoarthritis.

Together, George and Nancy shared a passion for advancing orthopedic and stem cell research, and improving their community. Through an estate gift, they left a lasting legacy by funding two professorships – Dr. George and Nancy Vogt Professorship in Orthopedics, and Dr. George and Nancy Vogt Professorship in Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine

Just as Nancy and George Vogt chose to give an estate plan gift, you too can support the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. Cash gifts and shares of stock are some ways to give and provide immediate impact on research, education and patient care. However, if you are considering making a long-term charitable gift, inclusion of the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation in your will or estate plan can help ensure that future generations will continue to benefit.

For information on the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Freedom of Movement Fund, or to make a contribution online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact: Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (608) 220-6196 or jgreene@uwhealth.org.

Bob Landsee is an executive partner with Avid Risk Solutions and a member of the UW Orthopedic Development Board. As a result of his own patient experience and his belief in the promising future of orthopedic treatment, he is committed to advancing the research conducted at the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

Bob is an alum of UW-Madison where he played football for the Badgers, and where he met his wife, Sharon, a UW track standout and also an alum. As an offensive lineman at Wisconsin from 1982–85, he was named an All-American and All-Big Ten guard.

In 1986, Bob was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles but during his fourth year, he was faced with a knee injury that ended his professional football career. Following that, Bob returned to the game as a coach for UW-Oshkosh and then for the Arena Football League.

Over the years, the impact of playing football left its mark on Bob. He estimates he has had 20 surgeries—most at UW Health— to correct, replace or realign one thing or another.

“Sharon and I have received nothing but great care and great results at UW Health,” he says. “I have received care at other places, but UW provides wonderful service and true caring.”

Because of the care he and Sharon received, they have chosen to support Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation research that uses stem cells to grow bone and cartilage.

“Both Sharon and I have had surgery here and we want to give back as thanks for the care we received as athletes. We are interested in supporting new research that will have amazing potential for people throughout their lives.

“These studies are remarkable. We’re very fortunate to have this type of research at UW— to be able to grow replacement cartilage from a patient’s own cells is incredible.

“We want a hand in helping. We want everyone to know that without support for these researchers, this project will not move forward. We all have to start giving back for future generations, and there’s no time like the present to do so.”

For more information, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving.

Witt is a member of the UW Orthopedic Development Board. As a result of his own patient experience and subsequent understanding of the promising future of orthopedic treatment, he is working to advance the research and academic mission of the Department through philanthropy and community outreach.

If you spend five minutes in Mike’s office, you know he’s an avid Badger fan. If you spend a little more time with Mike, you learn that he is committed to his family, his profession, staying active and, recently, advancing the research efforts of the UW Health orthopedic physicians and UW researchers who changed his life.

Mike, a senior vice president at the Wells Fargo office in Madison, is a 1990 graduate of UW-Madison. While at UW, he earned a degree in psychology and was a linebacker on the 1986–1988 Badgers football teams. After football, Mike remained active well into his 40s, competing in triathlons and marathons, playing tennis, and swimming, until increasing hip pain put a stop to all exercising. He recalls with a wince, “The pain was terrible. It affected my ability to walk, my entire lifestyle.”

With a diagnosis of arthritis with bone spurs, Mike sought out Richard Illgen, MD, UW Health orthopedic surgeon who pioneered robotic-assisted hip replacements.

Mike’s hip surgery was early on a Monday morning. By the afternoon, he “felt great” and was ready to go home, but Dr. Illgen sent him to the UW Carbone Cancer Center where his hip was irradiated to destroy any residual stem cells that could potentially develop into more bone spurs.

“The whole experience intrigued me; it sparked my curiosity and made me realize what a wonderful medical facility we have here. And, what a talented orthopedic surgeon Dr. Illgen is. He made it possible for me to walk again. Before the surgery, I couldn’t play tennis with my son. Now I play three to four times a week. I couldn’t walk 18 holes on the golf course because of the pain. Now I have no pain at all.”

“I’ve told this story to hundreds of people since then because it was such an amazing experience. And the more I told the story, the more intrigued I became by the role of stem cells in orthopedic medicine.”

Mike later attended a stem cell and regenerative medicine presentation by William Murphy, MS, PhD, UW Health orthopedic researcher, and Thomas Zdeblick, MD, chairman of the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation.

What happened that night was what Mike calls an “aha moment”—one that led to further conversations with Murphy and his colleague, Wan-Ju Li, PhD, who studies the use of pluripotent stem cells to produce a patient’s own replacement tendons and ligaments. “The more I learned, the more I began to realize how much is happening in arthritis and reparative medicine at UW,” says Mike.

“If we want to move forward, to perfect these treatments, we need people to support this amazing research. Whether we give of our time, our money, by involving others or by considering The Freedom of Movement Fund in our estate planning, we can change the lives of so many people and their families.”

Ron Vincent considers himself incredibly fortunate to never have experienced a serious sports injury. He certainly had plenty of opportunity—he played hockey as a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was on the school’s national championship team in 1981. He is the sixth-leading scorer in the program’s history.

But Ron certainly saw teammates suffer plenty of season-ending injuries. So, when a fellow Badger athlete asked him to consider joining the UW Orthopedic Development Board, he was excited for the chance to be a part of groundbreaking research. “It’s fascinating to learn about the amazing research they’re performing, and the incredible care they are providing” he says. “They’re growing cartilage and tendons for research in their labs, repairing really complex spine injuries and are at the forefront in treating concussions.”

After growing up on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, Ron came to UW-Madison on a hockey scholarship. After college, he had the opportunity to play professional hockey but chose to accept a job offer that allowed him to obtain his US work visa. Eventually, Ron became a U.S. citizen, and now runs his own company, Vincent Commodities, which buys and sells commodities in the dairy industry.

Ron lives in Madison with his wife, Chris, and they have two adult children. In his free time, Ron enjoys golfing, traveling to their summer cottage and skiing. “If I blow out a knee while skiing, I know I’ll have the care I need at UW Orthopedics!” he says with a laugh.

Since joining the UW Orthopedic Development Board to help raise money for The Freedom of Movement Fund, he has been gratified to see research projects grow from just an idea to a full-blown innovation that is changing lives. “It’s great to be a part of such leading-edge science and healthcare technology,” he says.

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.

If orthopedic programs honored frequent flyers, Vikki Enright would have achieved platinum status at UW Health by now. She has had a broken hand, a broken collarbone, and more recently, needed hip replacement surgery. When the problems began in her 40s, she was mystified because she had always been very active. Then she learned of the culprit that has been causing her so much grief—arthritis.

Vikki was adopted and doesn’t know any of her birth family’s medical history. That’s why she was surprised to learn she suffers from arthritis. “After the doctors at UW Health performed my hip surgery, they ordered a scan and discovered my arthritis was everywhere,” she says. “The only way for me to combat it was to keep moving.”

It makes sense, then, that The Freedom of Movement Fund is so important to Vikki. She joined the UW Orthopedic Development Board so she could play an active role in funding research that helps people with arthritis. She has been particularly impressed with the researchers who have presented projects and conduct the science that involves growing new cartilage for arthritis patients. “It’s invigorating to be part of a group that’s working so hard,” she says.

In addition to her involvement on the board, Vikki runs a nonprofit consulting business that primarily works with marginalized populations, food insecurity and homelessness. She and her husband, Tim, live in Madison and have an adult daughter.

While engaging in physical therapy for her various orthopedic concerns, Vikki noticed many older people participating alongside her. “That’s very telling for me,” she says. “We’re all living longer, and we have to figure out a way to live with comfort and be able to move better. That’s why raising money for The Freedom of Movement Fund is key.”

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.

When Jim Yehle first joined the UW Orthopedic Development Board, the board’s purpose and goals were only theoretical. There were many questions to answer: Everything was up in the air: How would it raise funds? Once it raised the funds, what would it do with the money? How could this board accomplish good within the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health?

Today, Jim is proud of the amazing story the board can tell about itself and the legacy it is creating. The money that The Freedom of Movement Fund has raised supports research projects that have yielded impressive results. The board now has case studies to show just how much good it’s doing. “We have a machine that’s working,” says Jim, who was chairman of the board from 2017-2020. “Instilling a healthy and active lifestyle is important, and funding this research helps us accomplish that.”

Unlike some of his fellow board members, Jim is not a “grateful patient.” Rather, he’s incredibly grateful that so far, he’s remained healthy and active. He’s the president and chief executive officer of J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., the Madison-based construction company that built UW Health at The American Center on Madison’s east side, a one-of-a-kind health and wellness center completed in 2015. Through the work of the project, Jim came to know some of the leaders in the Department of Orthopedics and became familiar with the unique, results-driven research that they were conducting. Recognizing the need for financial support to further the research, Jim jumped at the opportunity to create a board that would focus on raising funds for life-changing research.

Jim and his wife, Jessica, have three children, who are involved in gymnastics, swimming, diving, and soccer. Between their activities and his own interest in golfing, running, circuit training and yoga, Jim leads a life focused on health and wellness, and is passionate about sharing it with others. His family even competes daily via their smart-watch trackers! At his company, he is a strong advocate for personal health and wellness. Findorff brings in a complimentary trainer three times a week who offers hour-long circuit-training sessions to employees A yoga instructor teaches employees how to improve their muscle strength and tone during once-a-week classes.

“I want to support The Freedom of Movement Fund so we can continue to find ways to keep people running, biking and hiking throughout their lives,” says Jim.

Staying active by running and participating in triathlons has been part of the life of Kent Klagos for decades. When he was a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1980s, he was part of a group that started the Crazylegs Classic, a run/walk event that continues today. Over the years, he has competed in numerous runs and triathlons.

Kent also knows well what it’s like to be in pain. Once, he held his arm above his head on a 42-mile bike ride with his daughter because that was the only way he could stand the discomfort. He soon learned that he was suffering from cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area. Kent still planned to participate in the 2012 Ironman Triathlon but had to put those plans on hold as he underwent neck surgery under the care of Thomas Zdeblick, MD, orthopedic spine surgeon at UW Health. In 2016, he returned to UW Orthopedics for a hip replacement with Dr. Rich Illgen

So, for Kent, it was an easy decision to join the UW Orthopedic Development Board, which supports The Freedom of Movement Fund. Not only has he experienced healing at the hands of UW Health physicians, but his family has also benefited from their expertise. In fact, between Kent, his wife, Sally, and their four adult, athletic children, the Klagos family has undergone more than 20 orthopedic events. “At one point, we joked as a family that UW Health would need to create a Klagos wing,” he says. Beyond being a Board Member, Kent also served as the Board Chair from 2014-2017. Following the conclusion of his tenure as the Chair, he decided to stay on the Board to continue to help the cause he so strongly believes in.

Both Kent and Sally have become enthusiastic advocates for the work that UW Health scientists and physicians perform. “The passion the doctors have for what they do is simply amazing,” says Kent. “It’s exciting to listen to them talk about their research projects—to see what the future of medicine can be.”

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.

Janet Tegtmeier first began running in college because it was an inexpensive, easy way to stay fit. Over the years, she fell in love with the sport and ran whenever she could. However, her general level of activity and other unexpected factors have taken a toll on her body, and she has required several surgeries over the years to keep moving. Janet has relied on the team at UW Health Orthopedics and Rehabilitation to keep her healthy, which is why she jumped at the chance to join the UW Orthopedic Development Board.

Janet’s background is in exercise physiology, so she has always been passionate about the science of movement and healthy living. In 2008, she was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, a condition in which a vertebra has shifted out of place. Dr. Thomas Zdeblick, orthopedic surgeon at UW Health, performed a spinal fusion surgery to correct the problem. “It was the best decision I ever made,” she says. “No amount of physical therapy was helping, but the surgery took away my pain.”

Then, a year ago, UW Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Geoffrey Baer operated on Janet’s left hamstring tendon, repairing a tear and surgically reattaching it. After both of those procedures, Janet was profoundly grateful for the expertise of the surgeons and physicians at UW Health.

She joined the board in the fall of 2019 and is eager to spread the word about the amazing research The Freedom of Movement Fund supports. “The staff at UW Health has been vital in keeping me active and helping me do the activities I want to do,” she says. “What else can you do but give back?”

Janet lives in Madison and owns Buy Right Purchasing Group with her husband, Joe. They have one adult son, Colt. Thanks to her successful surgeries and the physical therapy following those surgeries, Janet has been able to continue her incredibly active life—including running marathons, biking and hiking. “I’ve seen what happens when people stop moving, and it’s terrifying,” she says. “The work these researchers are doing is so important.”

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.

As an avid triathlete, who competed in the 2015 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria, and a runner who has competed in the 2017 New York City Marathon, Candice Nielsen is no stranger to the world of athletics. Candice and husband, Lars, have instilled their love of sports and physical activity in their four children, all of whom are competitive athletes. The Nielsen family regularly enjoys biking, running, skiing, swimming, soccer and basketball. After attending a fundraising event for the University of Wisconsin Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, hosted by UW Orthopedic Development board member Louisa Enz, Candice gained a new perspective on treating orthopedic injuries and the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle.

“Our twins are both soccer players, and after attending a fundraising event that focused on females in sports, my husband and I learned that female soccer players are more susceptible to head injuries than male soccer players. With all of our family living active lifestyles, I wanted to do more for our children’s future, so I decided to join the board.”

Candice has seen first-hand the impact that orthopedic injuries can have, not only on youth athletes like her oldest daughter who recently sustained a foot fracture, but also in adults like her husband who had a degenerative hip condition that required hip surgery. “The research conducted at the UW Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation is shaping the future for all who are physically active.”

“It’s not just about my life and how it can be impacted through the Department’s research, but our children, and our children’s children. It’s exciting to think about what the future of orthopedics may look like in the years to come, which is why we continue to support the Freedom of Movement Fund and the incredible research the Department is doing.”

To learn more about The Freedom of Movement Fund or to contribute online, please visit ortho.wisc.edu/giving or contact Joe Greene, Program Manager, Outreach and Development at jgreene@uwhealth.org or (608) 220-6196.