our story

It all started with a triathlon retail store in Chicago's West Loop and quickly grew into a training community after our launch of the Chicago Triathlon First Timers’ program in 2015.

Since then, we’ve encouraged, guided, and supported more than 3,000 ordinary people in their quests to accomplish extraordinary things. We witnessed those same people take their newfound confidence, apply it to their personal and professional lives and thrive.

Live Grit founder Gillian Fealy has a law background with an emphasis on social work. She often speaks to how fortunate she was to have the support of adults outside her family circle who believed in her and helped her through tough moments in her youth. As an adult, she wanted to be able to give opportunities similar to those she was given to youth who wouldn’t usually get first chances, let alone second ones. After owning a triathlon retail store, in 2017 Gillian created Live Grit SOARS to provide the opportunities, mentorship, and training to Chicago’s underprivileged youth as she did with the triathlon community in the city.


gillian fealy

founder + president

Gillian Fealy is an attorney who represents abused and neglected children at the Cook County Office of the Public Guardian. 

Gillian started Live Grit SOARS in 2017 with the goal to help Chicago’s youth accomplish seemingly impossible goals, like a triathlon or going to college, and giving them a community who are here to support them along the way.

dr. laura cayce

director of operations + program development

Laura Cayce is excited to be a part of the Live Grit Soars team. With a background in medicine and one of the highest regarded care providers for endurance athletes in the city, finding a home with Live Grit was an easy match. 

Dr. Cayce has her bachelors in health sciences and life sciences from the University of Missouri, Masters in Sports Science and Rehabilitation, Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine.

board of directors

Gillian Fealy

Founder + President​​

Susan Bell

General Counsel

Chamberlain Group

Brett Fealy


EMT Innovations

Jason Patera

Head of School

The Chicago Academy for the Arts​

Sharon Walbert

Industry leader in business development


e: contact@livegritsoars.org

p: (312) 448-4584

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Be a part of something bigger. All your donations go towards helping Chicago's kids SOAR!