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Operating Room to Mountain Summit

Rush patient honors his surgeon on every National Doctor’s Day

In January 2014, Craig Falkenthal (left) climbed a mountain. But in summer 2012, he would lose his breath walking 100 feet.

Falkenthal had never taken a sick day off of work in 23 years, but a screening revealed he was suffering from a congenital heart valve problem. When Falkenthal came to cardiac surgeon Robert March, MD, at Rush for guidance and treatment, March and his team also found a potentially fatal two-inch aneurysm on Falkenthal’s aorta.

“Leading up to the surgery, I was in pain. It felt like an elephant was lying on my chest every time I got up,” Falkenthal said. “Dr. March didn’t let me down. The next day after the surgery, all the pain was gone.”

Eighteen months later, he was healthy enough to climb to a mountain summit.

“Reaching that summit wouldn’t have been possible without Dr. March,” Falkenthal said. “That’s why every year on March 30, National Doctor’s Day, I make a gift to Rush to show my appreciation.”

Make your Doctor's Day gift online in honor of your doctor.

Honoring your health care hero

“It means the world to me to know that I have made such a difference in the life and well-being of one of my patients,” said Robert March, MD. “I feel fortunate to work with so many compassionate caregivers at Rush who make such a difference possible for our patients on a daily basis.”

Doctors, nurses and other caregivers at Rush work tirelessly to ease symptoms and manage your health. To find and apply the right treatment you or your loved ones need. To save lives and give you more years with the people you love most.

Help Rush continue to offer the high level of care you, or someone important to you, received by contributing in honor of the health care professionals who provided that care. We will notify the doctors, nurses or other caregivers of your generosity.

Questions? Please contact our Annual Giving team at or 312-942-6112.

Learn about other ways to give to Rush: