Dale Gold

Dale Gold always led an active life. She spent much of her time outdoors as a ski coach, when she wasn’t at university preparing for a career in education.

At age 21 in January 2013, Dale fell skiing, causing a tear in her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL) and lateral meniscus. She was then diagnosed with Arthrofibrosis, a complication of injury or trauma where excessive scar tissue leads to a painful restriction of joint motion. Quickly she learned how life can change in an instant.

Her world drastically changed. Once an energetic, independent woman, Dale became dependent on friends and family for many things. “I could no longer bend my knee, and therefore had very limited mobility,” she says. “My injury put life into perspective and I realized how much I had taken for granted before.” Dale cancelled a trip to Alaska, among many other events and activities, as she could not walk or sit comfortably. She could no longer lead her life the way she was accustomed to.

In April she underwent an arthroscopy surgery at Toronto Western Hospital and then came to Toronto Rehab as an inpatient. Under the care of her physiotherapist, Ruth Vallis, Dale began aggressive physiotherapy five times a day to regain her range of motion.

A difficult course of therapy, Dale found it challenging at times, but is forever grateful to Ruth for pushing her to keep going.

“Ruth is truly inspirational,” says Dale of Ruth, who has been legally blind since the age of two. “She never lets her disability hold her back. Her perseverance motivated me to push beyond my injury, no matter how difficult it seemed at times.”  

Ruth was impressed with Dale’s determination to regain her strength and mobility. “I saw her five times per day, and then she did work on her own,” says Ruth. “Dale was very committed to her success and, therefore, must be given the credit as I can only conduct, she must make the music!”

After her inpatient stay, Dale transitioned to an outpatient, returning to Toronto Rehab three times a week for physiotherapy to strengthen her knee and leg muscles until the end of June. 

A year later, thanks to Toronto Rehab, Dale has regained her independence, rescheduled her Alaskan vacation and she even returned to the slopes twice this past winter. She continues to strengthen her knee and is always encouraged by the people she met and the lessons she learned during her time at Toronto Rehab.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to everyone at Toronto Rehab,” she says. “It is a welcoming place where I learned disability should not and does not stop you from living your life.”

Dale chooses to recognize Ruth as her Rehab Champion. Thankful for Ruth’s expertise and help, Dale says it is her encouragement that got her back on the slopes.

Celebrate Your Rehab Champion is a tribute giving program that acknowledges the extraordinary care provided by that special doctor, nurse, therapist or staff member who went the extra mile with you, or a loved one. Your donation will support our continued commitment to providing the best care possible.

Donate online or contact Dianna Dobbin in the Foundation office at 416-597-3040.
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