Husker Former Fullback Gets Help for Kilimanjaro Climb

For his first mountain climb, Joel Makovicka needed an International health care game plan

In 2008, Joel Makovicka’s 13-year-old nephew, Derek Ruth, suffered a life-threatening brain injury playing youth football. Joel decided to raise awareness and funds by dedicating this climb – his first - to Nebraska children who have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

A physician referred him to Methodist's Travel Clinic for a consultation with the clinic’s medical director, Rudolf Kotula, MD, an infectious disease and travel medicine specialist.

“Dr. Kotula covered everything I needed to know and do, and explained why each step was important,” Joel said. “He and his staff did an outstanding job of getting me ready for the trip.”   

I was given exactly what I needed to avoid altitude sickness and other problems that can prevent a successful climb.

Joel Makovicka, decorated former Husker fullback

Joel successfully completed his trek from Mount Kilimanjaro’s rain forest to the summit’s arctic zone for the 19,340-foot ascent of the world’s tallest freestanding mountain.

“Expert advice and care from the Methodist Travel Clinic made all the difference”, Joel says. “I was given exactly what I needed to avoid altitude sickness and other problems that can prevent a successful climb.”