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58 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 18 - Sarah Routman
Sarah Routman knew just what to do with her MA in adult education: She became a laughter professional. The Founder of ‘Laugh for the Health of It’, a sought-after keynote speaker and conference presenter, Sarah has wowed audiences for over 15 years with her expertise, enthusiasm and highly interactive laugh-it-out approach toward life. Sarah choreographs an experience that activates childlike play for a vibrant, uplifting and delightful result that has a ripple effect of positivity. Included in the recent anthology, ‘Can’t Someone Fix What Ails Me?’ of 21 stories of living with chronic illness, Sarah is the person you want to work with when you are faced with serious illness but want and need to find joy.
66 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 17 - Trevor Maxwell
Trevor launched Man Up to Cancer on Jan. 1, 2020, to help men connect and avoid isolation during their cancer journeys. A husband and father of two teenage daughters, Trevor has been living with stage IV colorectal cancer since March of 2018. He is a writer, speaker, and community builder with a background in newspaper journalism and public relations. Trevor is incredibly grateful for the support of the cancer wolfpack! Howl!!
68 minutes | a year ago
Episode 16 - Bryan Piatt
While standing in the kitchen of his Fargo home around the age of 12, Bryan had a thought pop into his mind that caused him to question who he is at the core. Little did he know at the time, that it was an early sign of his struggle with anxiety and OCD. A little over a year ago after experiencing panic attacks on live television, Bryan decided to shift his role as a news anchor at KARE 11 in order to make his mental health a priority. Today he remains a producer at the NBC station and is also the co-founder of the Refresh Network where he holds open and honest conversations about mental health. We discuss our suspicion that many caregivers “push through” very treatable mental health disorders but they become unable to when faced with the stress of caring for a loved one with cancer. We also discuss how he copes with uncertainty (a theme in every caregiver’s life) as a major challenge with his OCD is excessive ruminating. He unpacks for us each tool in his mental health toolkit and shares his fundamental strategy of coping which is to allow his thoughts, emotions and sensations in the body to be part of the ride - rather than trying to push them away.
65 minutes | a year ago
Episode 15 - Sean Breininger
Described by his caregiver as a “mystic”, Sean’s been stripped down to nothing. He’s lost his job, he’s infertile, and he often can’t take care of anyone or even play with his daughter. In our conversation he asks himself, “if he is nothing to this world, is he worth the dignity and the resources it has to offer?” His answer will inspire you! Diagnosed at the age of 32 with a rare condition called Fanconi Anemia, cancer is a “no end in sight” reality for him, his daughter Maya, and his spouse/primary caregiver Allison. He’s had cancer of the gums, throat, tongue, bladder, and over 150 occurrences of skin cancer. He’s experienced over 10 years of treatment and literally thousands of appointments including a bone marrow transplant, having his tongue rebuilt from a flap of his arm and the removal of his bladder and prostate. His wife Allison, inspired by her experiences with Sean, created a blog and online community for caregivers called The Negative Space. As a result of her work she’s become a sought after thought leader and speaker on caregiving. You can follow the their day to day ups and downs on FB and IG at @negspacelife. You can learn more about the caregiving coordination tool that Sean shares in the episode at https://www.ianacare.com/.
50 minutes | a year ago
Episode 14 - Nick Meysembourg
Nominated for our podcast by his wife Natalie, Nick is just a guy in love with his girls. A Twin’s season ticket holder since 2001, he's also a firm believer that the only things you can control in life are your actions and your attitude. That belief proved very valuable in 2018, when, with their daughter less than a year old, he became a partner in his sales firm and soon after Natalie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now even with Natalie in remission, cancer is never far from their minds. As an inheritor of the BRCA1 gene mutation the Meysembourg’s are living their lives on high alert.
50 minutes | a year ago
Episode 13 - Kelly Grosklags, LICSW, BCD, Fellow, American Academy of Grief Counseling
Kelly is an oncology psychotherapist with a fellowship in grief counseling, a keynote speaker, and an accomplished author who’s been in the clinical field of palliative care and hospice for 25 years. She’s witnessed hundreds of deaths, including her own mother’s when she was 11 years old. Her mom had collapsed from a massive heart attack as they shopped for groceries, she helplessly watched as CPR was administered. They spent 3 months in the ICU before her mom ultimately died in the hospital as a result. She was even teased at school because her mom died! These experiences built her resiliency muscles, informed her caregiver perspective, and taught her that end of life care must be done well. Recently she’s shifted the focus of her work to sharing the lessons she’s learned from the real experts, her patients. She believes the dying have the most to teach us about how to live. And she enjoys sharing those lessons through her book, “A Comforted Heart”, “Conversations with Kelly” events and podcasts, and training other therapists to specialize in oncology where many more experts are needed.
79 minutes | a year ago
Episode 12 - Damon Shoholm
Mr. Shoholm is from an African American and Cherokee father, and a very Scandinavian mother and family. Which meant as a child growing up in the 70s that where he was also from was not from much acceptance. Never quite enough of one community to be considered entirely from that community. That led him to having this record playing for him that he was “always almost good enough”. But prior to attending the James P Shannon Leadership Institute he was largely unaware that was how he was feeling. As a participant of the program, he didn’t feel worthy of it. And now, one the accomplishments he’s proudest of is that he is now leading that very same program! His ability to be fully present with people in meaningful spaces is what defines him. His work is about helping people discern what it is that defines or outlines them as their best self. Helping them show up with energy and interest as they deploy their gifts for the world. Helping them decide what their core values are and understand what they require of them. We discuss with Damon how caregivers can start their journey toward better alignment and show up as their best selves. He shares practical tips for experiencing renewal and we get to imagine ourselves as one of his 9th grade soccer players as he gives us his 'locker room' pep talk as a coach on staff at Washburn High School in Minneapolis
66 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 11 - Dan Cramer
Mr. Cramer is one of the few men on the planet who’s beard has its own Instagram page. And as if that weren’t enough, he was recently selected as one of the 50 most inspiring and accomplished leaders from across Minnesota in 2019. But when we asked about his accomplishments, the one he’s proudest of is his “amazing marriage.” Proud dog parents to a basset hound named “Doc”, he and Cassie are roughly one year into her metastatic breast cancer journey. And at over 21 years into their marriage they still refer themselves “newlyweds.” The native Chicagoan and co-founder of Grassroot Solutions has an intense desire to make the world a better place. One of the many ways he’s doing that is by joining Jack’s, not only as a member, but also as a volunteer leader on our Klatch team. We explore with him what it was about Jack’s macho language on our website that almost prevented him from reaching out. We also take a deep dive into what it is about our Caregiver Klatches that inspires him and where he sees opportunities to take the Klatch in the future. He also shares with us his single biggest takeaway from our programming, what inspired him and Cassie to start their important blog for couples facing cancer meaningandstuff.com, and what it’s like to be a competitive backgammon player!
85 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 10 - Three Kick Ass Cancer Caregivers
This episode is a recording of a live program event we held on August 18th, 2019. Our second annual Kick Ass Brunch Buffet. An event in which a panel of three of our members (Mr. Anderson, Mr. Cramer, and Mr. Robertson), all actively caring for their spouse with cancer, is moderated by one of our founders, Mr. Dustin Cesarek who’s also an active cancer caregiver for his spouse. These men were selected for their leadership not only as inspirational caregivers, but also for their leadership on our mission. All but one of them are past guests on the show, and the one who isn’t, Mr. Cramer, will be featured in a future episode. You can read the bios of our moderator and panelists on the event page, https://www.jackscaregiverco.org/kickassbrunchbuffet.htmlThe program starts off with intriguing statistics like how more marriages facing a serious cancer diagnosis end in divorce rather than in death. How if it’s the woman who’s diagnosed, the divorce rate is six times higher than if it’s the man. And how 78% of men who are caregivers report having no help. The panelists each address questions like how their roles with their loved ones have changed since the diagnosis. How they answer the question, “how are you doing?”. What was their pre-cancer plan and how have they adjusted? What their identity was before cancer, and how it may have changed? And how do they bring their broader network into their caregiving life? The outer ring of the people they know.
80 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 9 - Justin Nicolay
Mr. Nicolay was holding his late wife Michelle when she lost her battle with melanoma as their almost 2-year old son played outside the room. A founder of Jack's Caregiver Coalition we catch up with him 5 years later in the summer of his life at 36 years old married to the new love of his life Monica. He unpacks what it's like to suddenly become a child's Dad and Mom, and how Jack's mission was born from helping him cope with the entire experience. We also explore in detail what it was like to enter the online dating world as a widower holding a kid while all the other dudes on Tinder are holding fish. He also shares simple yet profound online dating hacks that would save anyone planning to re-enter the dating world a lot of head and heart aches.
64 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 8 - Lindy Yokanovich, Esq.
Mrs. Yokanovich is the Founder and Executive Director of Cancer Legal Care. A mom to 4 children, she grew up among the strawberry fields and surfers of Southern California and went on to become a lawyer and practice law in San Francisco. That’s where the pro-bono work she did with the AIDS community changed her. Those experiences, coupled with the impact cancer had in her own family, inspired her to dedicate her career to work that she cares about as much as her family. Her vision was an organization that engages the law to resolve the complex challenges facing people and communities affected by cancer. Listen as she unpacks why you need a lawyer on your healthcare team, statistics like 42% of cancer patients depleting their life saving within two years of diagnosis, and where people can go for similar legal services that don’t live in Minnesota. We also discuss a recent branding journey her organization completed that unlocked their enormous potential and we close with the hard-won wisdom she’s earned as a founder. If you have an idea that you’re in love with we promise, she’ll inspire you!
73 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 7 - Kyle Woody
Mr. Woody is the host of Real Men and leader of Jack’s Caregiver Coalition. In this episode he gets grilled by Charles Wuest, the best man in his wedding who’s known him since their band nerd days in junior high school. Kyle unpacks his personal core values, his personal caregiving story, and the events that inspired him build the team that would go on to make Jack’s a reality. He tells stories about the early years on the mission and how those experiences made our programming what it is now. We close with conversations about new programming that’s still in beta mode, where Jack’s is on its journey to bring its mission beyond the Twin Cities, and what good day looks like for Kyle.
78 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 6 - Alan Christensen
Mr. Christensen is a big-time talker whose best man in his wedding wasn’t a man at all. He’s also a technologist whose favorite season is baseball season. As his wife Sara faces a rare cancer called an angiosarcoma he often finds himself more afraid of her medical procedures than she is. And while he also often finds himself flying solo as a caregiver, no one would accuse him of lone-wolfing it. Alan has reached out to his neighbors who responded in kind with food, snow and debris removal and even cards for encouragement! Being a talker and not a texter, Alan is able to reach out via phone calls to his Uncle Dave, Uncle Jim and sister Becky for countless hours of support. Alan is also a proud volunteer for Rein in Sarcoma and a member of Jack's Caregiver Coalition.
76 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 5 - Dustin Cesarek
Mr. Cesarek is a co-founder of Jack’s Caregiver Coalition who fancies himself a trophy husband. He lost his sister to Leukemia when he was 11, his bride was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer when their daughter was 8 months old, and his mom recently developed endometrial cancer. Recently he completed a 4-year stint as a stay at home dad. Now he’s in law school and actively supports the mission of numerous cancer focused non-profits. He spends his spare time winning cool stuff like the Heffelbower Fellowship and the University of St. Thomas Law School’s 2018 “Living the Mission” award.
98 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 4 - Rich Anderson
Mr. Anderson has been motorcyclist since he was 5 and had a full kitchen in his bedroom by age 10. Now he’s a father, a 210 average score bowler, a primary caregiver for his wife with colorectal cancer, and CEO of a technology company. Hear him unpack how he does it all and us unpack what we learned at our recent “Under the Sheets, Intimacy and Cancer for Couples” workshop at Smitten Kitten in Minneapolis. Guybrators (vibrators for guys) and advanced lube science is just the tip of the intimacy iceberg.
84 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 3 - Glen Baumgart
Mr. Baumgart is a PhD, a father, and an educational psychologist that loves his pick-up truck and his cowboy boots. His mantra is if something needs to be done, do it. Like adding onto his own house, where his first attempt at drywall was so shoddy he decided to cover it up with a bookshelf. Hear about the different roles his caregiving team of Joe, Lee, Dave, Rich, and Kyle play to help him face his bride’s metastatic colon cancer.
72 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 2 - Mike Kieffer
Mr. Kieffer was told his fiancée had two months to live one month before their wedding. Ovarian cancer took his bride from him in June of 2018. The 26-year-old diesel mechanic boldly shares what their wedding was like, a blow-by-blow on what surprised him about the end of her life, and why he loves fixing things. Artificial intelligence fails miserably at helping us understand exactly what a caregiver is.
45 minutes | 2 years ago
Episode 1 - Travis Robertson
Mr. Robertson is a dad facing his wife’s metastatic breast cancer. He believes that creativity is what makes the world happen. Hear him unpack why becoming a caregiver is like becoming a martian, why he wants to make men wiser, more intriguing, and harder to kill, and creative parenting tips like “Disco Baths”. The “one thing” he asks people to do that wanna help him is shockingly simple.
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