Something More

Something More is a remarkable personal history of a World War II childhood in the coal mining town of Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania; the training and career of an award-winning orthopedic surgeon with the Penn State Nittany Lions; and a moving testimony of spiritual faith and love of family.

Alexander Kalenak

Alexander Kalenak, M.D.

As a young boy hungry for knowledge, Alexander Kalenak played dirt lot baseball, shined shoes, delivered newspapers, and worshipped his older brothers speeding along in the family’s 1940 Buick.  All this and more took place in a quintessential American landscape:  a Pennsylvania coal mining town.

In this memoir, Kalenak describes how his love of learning carried him into a career as a modern physician-scientist.  He became an orthopedic surgeon just as sports medicine emerged as a field of specialty and he moved his young family to Hershey, Pennsylvania, to pursue the dream of being team physician for the Penn State Nittany Lions.  For twenty-two years, he pioneered new surgical techniques and cared for countless football players and other athletes.

Dr. K, or “Coach K,” as he was called, describes how he listened to all his patients with his surgeon’s mind and with his human heart.  Stories of fishing, biking in France, playing golf, and enjoying the beach with his family reveal the balance of a well-lived life.

In his final illness, pancreatic cancer, Kalenak was a role model of perseverance and patience, seeking new treatments that might ultimately help others.  He was named a member of the Hall of Fame of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine in 2006 and was cited as one of the “Best Doctors in America.”