The QuadCast

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The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. On this week's QuadCast, CAF Senior Director, Doug Olson, and 6x Ironman finisher, Glenn Hartrick are my guests. Doug explains what CAF is, and how they help the physically challenged participate in sports, and Glenn tells us what competing in a triathlon is like, before and after a spinal cord injury.
For this week's episode I turn the tables on myself, answering two of the most important questions I ask all of my guests: 1. What was my life like before my accident (who was I, and what were my life goals)? 2. How did my SCI happen, and what were the circumstances before and after? I'm thrilled to have my first PT, Hillary Fryczynski, and OT, Dawn Texas, as my guests on this 40 minute trip down memory lane.
Maegan Blau's Interior design career started with her personal journey to renovate and adapt her first home. In 2009 she incurred a spinal cord injury and has since been a wheelchair user. Being a quadriplegic comes with challenges, but her physical state has hardly held her back. This experience has inspired her to bring her unique perspective into the world of design. In 2018 she started Blue Copper Design to share that perspective and elevate the world of adaptive design. Maegan saw a void and created a business to fill it. She is a spinal cord injury survivor and thriver, and she is my guest on this week's QuadCast.
Ali Stroker is a groundbreaking performer! The spinal cord injury she suffered in an automobile accident at just two years of age has not held her back for one hot second. Ali made history in 2015 as the first actress in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway, in Deaf West's revival of Spring Awakening. Then in 2019 this trailblazer notched a few more firsts, to be nominated for AND win a Tony Award (Best Featured Actress In A Musical, for Oklahoma!). Ali and I discuss, among many things: how her family (including a New Jersey Coaches Hall-Of-Fame inductee father), as well as her community of Ridgewood, NJ, rallied in support following the accident, what it means to her to be an inspiration for actors/actresses who may be "differently abled", how excited she is for "Christmas Ever After", a movie she shot in August for Lifetime, to air in December, and much more. Please join Ali and me on this week's QuadCast, thank you!
A horrific bicycling accident should have killed Ron Gold in 2011, but instead, he survived more than two dozen life-threatening surgeries after a sleeping driver plowed into him on a quiet country road. The tragedy left Ron paralyzed with a permanently crushed spine and instantly cut short his successful 25-year career on Wall Street. Following his accident, Ron figured out a way to address America’s broken home care system and thoughtfully change the way families hire home health aides. As someone who needs home care himself each day, Ron’s answer was to create LeanOnWe, a managed marketplace that allows families to find, employ, and manage experienced and highly recommended caregivers. He and his wife, Betsy, conceived of the idea, and then brought on the team to execute it. He raised the initial funding and developed the marketing channels and industry partners. In case you haven't guessed by now, Ron Gold is my guest on this week's QuadCast! His story is amazing and inspiring, I hope you will listen.
So what does it take to get folks who have suffered spinal cord injuries licensed and on the road again? How about adaptations for a car or van, what and where can those be done? I'm so glad you asked. Welcome to the "back on the road again" episode of The QuadCast. My guests are Rich Nead, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and Peter Ruprecht, president of Drivemaster Total Mobility Center in Fairfield, New Jersey. Fasten your seatbelts, there is a lot to learn!
Dr. Trevor Dyson-Hudson is currently the director of the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Outcomes & Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ. In his 3rd-year of medical school (1992) he sustained a SCI - C6 tetraplegia, complete, while playing rugby football. Following a year of rehabilitation, he went back and finished medical school. Dr. Trevor, whose story of perseverance is off the charts inspiring, is not only my guest this week, he is also my friend!
A friend in need is a friend indeed! August 19 marked the 28th anniversary of my accident, and to "commemorate" the occasion I invited two of my besties, Robert Gallitelli and Jamie Padgett, to join me for a trip down memory lane. They, among many others, have been with me since day 1, and I love them for everything they've done for and with me! So, on this week's QuadCast, we reminisce about the good, the bad, and the ugly, how far we've come, and also share some stories that will make you laugh out loud. 28 years,... Time sure flies when you're having fun... :-(
The Happiness Perspective, Transforming Physical Trauma Into Hope, Happiness and Connection, is a book written by my friend Farris Fakhoury. It chronicles his experiences as a physical therapist working in a rehabilitation hospital, treating individuals who have had life changing physical traumas. Over time he noticed that his patients, who had the right perspective, were able to heal physically and mentally much faster. In the book, he explores their common threads, and this has changed the entire way he sees healing. "I picked a career in medicine so that I could help others. Never in a million years did I ever think that my patients would help me so much more than I could ever help them." Couldn't we all use a little more happiness in our lives, especially at this point? I hope you enjoy our conversation.
The QuadCast has reached double figures! Episode #10 features my friend, Eric LeGrand. You will find out which sport he thought would be his college calling, what was going through his mind as he laid motionless on the field at MetLife Stadium following his injury, and just how "A Walk To Believe" came to fruition. Plus we talk about how wonderful our moms are, and of course some Rutgers football. It is all part of your weekly session of OT/PT for the soul!
It is a "Back To Work" edition of The QuadCast! My guest is Adria De Simone, Vocational Resource Facilitator at Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey. Adria guides us through how she helps spinal cord injury survivors overcome barriers and return to work. She talks about different services that are helpful for people with SCI, and overall is an amazing advocate for the community (I know this firsthand)! So get out your pencils, there is plenty of information to be learned.
As you know, I like to give my episodes a title. With all due respect to Hollywood and ABC television in particular, I am going to borrow this week's from one of their medical dramas. My guest is Dr. Steven Kirshblum, the "Good Doctor"!
Ever wonder what the process of breeding, raising, and training assistance dogs for people living with disabilities is like? This week you'll find out how Canine Companions For Independence does all of that and more, from the organization's Client Services Program Manager, Jessica Reiss. Then Mike Saverino, former President of New Jersey's Volunteer Chapter for Canine Companions, and two time graduate of their team training program, tells us how his assistance dogs have changed his life. It's our "Going To The Dogs" episode of The QuadCast!
Alan T Brown is a spinal cord injury survivor and thriver! Since his accident in 1988, he has been a driving force and an amazing advocate for the disabled community. Alan has completed three New York City marathons, has a World Series ring, and has been known to skydive among other things. However, his philanthropy is his calling card. The Alan T Brown Foundation has raised much-needed awareness for folks living with spinal cord injuries, as well as tremendous sums of money for individuals, and the community at large. The current Director Of Public Impact at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is my guest on this week's QuadCast.
Maryann Hobbie is a writer, educator, artist, and SCI survivor and thriver! Her life's main goal is to integrate her life experiences, talent and education in service to those whose lives have been altered by catastrophic, physically disabling experiences, terminal illness and loss. As if that isn't enough, she's also my guest on this week's QuadCast. Thank you Maryann!
On the maiden voyage of The QuadCast, my guest is Scott Chesney. Despite being in a wheelchair since the age of 15, he has not let any grass grow under his tires! Scott is a two-time world traveler, motivational speaker, and most recently the subject of the documentary film, Ride The Wave. While The QuadCast is normally a 30 minute session of OT/PT for the soul, Scott had so much to share with me/us we went another 20 minutes! I hope you like the show, and will come back for future episodes. Feel free to reach out with suggestions/guests you would like to hear from (, and please tell a friend or 10 about us! Thanks, John McAleavey.
Mikey Nichols is a remarkable young man. He loves when people tell him he can't do something, because it drives him even harder. From the moment he was injured, doing what he loved (playing hockey), he has been doing great things in his recovery, and for the SCI community. Mikey is an inspiration to me, and I'm sure he will be to you as well following this QuadCast Podcast.
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Podcast Details

Created by
The QuadCast
Podcast Status
May 21st, 2020
Latest Episode
Oct 15th, 2020
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
About 1 hour

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