Kate Genovese has a message for any injured student athletes out there. “Don’t give up. Don’t be afraid to push yourself to get back to doing what you love, because you can achieve it.”

The sophomore at Dunmore High School is currently in physical therapy to rehab her second ACL injury in as many years. Kate suffered her first ACL injury in November 2012 while practicing a cheer routine at North Pocono High School. Following surgery in January, she attended regular sessions with physical therapist, Julie Wise-Hall, at Moscow Rehab Center.

Initially, Kate didn’t know what to expect of therapy. She was fearful that she wouldn’t be able to participate in sports for at least 6 months. In addition to cheerleading, Kate loves volleyball, track, skiing and any activity that keeps her on the move. Based on her high level of fitness and motivation, Kate and Julie set themselves an aggressive goal – to have Kate ready for the spring cheerleading try-outs.

“Therapy is hard work, but you just have to push yourself. Going to Allied helped me so much. It took me 2 to 3 months to recover and I thought that was incredible.” By April, Kate was fully functional again: able to run, jump, perform challenging stunts and ultimately qualify for the cheer squad. Pushing aside any fear of re-injury, she resumed her active lifestyle, taking part in all the sports she loves.

Kate’s first ACL injury gave her something in common with her family – her father, sister and brother all suffered torn ACL injuries, on the same leg (right), and on the same sports field!

Her second ACL injury put her in the company of the countless winter sports athletes who experience this painful injury. Julie Wise-Hall explains “winter sports that involve twisting and pressure on the joints, like skiing and ice skating leave athletes more prone to injuries of the knee ligaments and joints.”

Kate Genovese - Winter Sports Rehab at Allied Services

In November 2013, Kate fell while skiing. “I was going too fast and I tried to slow down by falling. But when I fell, I just felt something pop in my left knee and thought, ‘please don’t let that be my ACL’. I tried to get back up but collapsed right back on the ground.”

As she was brought down off the slope, she discovered that U.S. Olympic Alpine Skier Lindsey Vonn had also been injured that same day! The injury? A torn ACL.

Kate and her therapist, Julie Hall

Following her second injury, Kate knew what to expect. She had surgery to repair her damaged left ACL as soon as possible and prepared to enter the rehab phase. When her surgeon recommended rehab closer to her new home in Dunmore, Kate insisted that she return to Allied and her skilled therapist, Julie.

Kate currently attends therapy at Moscow Rehab Center three-times-a-week and is already making great progress. Her goal is to be ready for the track trials in the spring when she hopes to compete in the triple jump and high jump.

Julie has high hopes for Kate. “Being that she’s an athlete, motivated and puts the work in, I anticipate that the outcomes will be just as good as the first (injury).”

The experience has left Kate more determined than ever to push the boundaries of what’s possible, to do what she loves and to leave no room for fear or doubt. It has also given her a new goal to strive for – studying to become a physical therapist!

“I like the idea of a job where I’m not behind a desk. Being a physical therapist would allow me to be hands-on and allow me to help people. I’ve been through the experience so I could offer that perspective.”