58 minutes | Feb 28, 2023
S4 E2 Jerod And Hanna Nieder - The Dynamic Duo!
I had the absolute pleasure speaking with Jerod and Hanna Nieder for this week's episode of the QuadCast, and I think after our hour-long conversation you will love them as much as I do! The Nieders story is really 3 in one. What began as the result of a tragedy (Jerod's SCI), has through the life they live helping others in the community (Jerod's work in spinal stimulation trials and Hanna's peer mentoring of patients and their families), become one of inspiration. Ultimately this is a love story because the Dynamic Duo, whose initial relationship was caregiver for patient, are today husband and wife! Treat yourself, this is one of my best/favorite shows!
52 minutes | Jan 20, 2023
S4 E1 - Rosemarie Speaks
Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. is a powerful, internationally recognized expert, speaker, author, consultant, CEO and Founder of Rossetti Enterprises LLC, a Disability-Owned Business through Disability: IN. since January 1997. Known for her Universal Design and Green Building Expertise, she and her husband, Mark led the design team, were the general contractors/builders, and since May 2012 have lived in the Universal Design Living Laboratory, the national demonstration home and garden in Columbus, Ohio. www.udll.com Rosemarie took some time out of her busy schedule of recording, speaking, writing, etc., to join me for Episode 1 of Season 4 of The QuadCast.
52 minutes | Dec 27, 2022
S3 E9 - Here She Is… Miss Ali Ingersoll
Ali Ingersoll has packed a lot into her 38 years! As a child her family moved every 2 years, so she lived in many different places (Germany, France, Miami, Los Angeles, and more). The Bahamas however were their home base. Following high school she went to China where she stayed for a while before coming back to the states for college (Occidental and University of Miami). Unfortunately while back in The Bahamas, Ali injured her spine in a shallow water dive, leaving her a complete C-6 quad. For the next 6 years, she endured an odyssey of hospitals, rehab, and medical procedures. Once finally settled, Ali returned to day trading, and began writing and public speaking. Earlier this year, she entered the Miss Wheelchair America pageant and won. Since then she's been raising awareness about her platform, which is health insurance advocacy. If that wasn't enough, the self proclaimed "Quirky Quad" runs a website, and is active on social media working on behalf of the community. Ali took some time out of her uber busy schedule to join me for this week's episode of The QuadCast.
44 minutes | Dec 20, 2022
S3 E8 - Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place Like Home - Part 1
While the weather outside is frightful, today's episode of the podcast will be insightful, and it will certainly warm your heart. That is because my friend, Tracey Iraca, is my guest. She was injured in an accident that you will have to hear her describe for yourself to believe, and yet in her four-month stay as an inpatient at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, I never once heard her ask "why me"? Tracey was discharged last week, but before so, she took time out of her busy last evening at KIR to join me for this very special two-part edition of the QuadCast. I promise you will be amazed and above all inspired by Tracey's journey. Thank you for joining me my friend, I know you will thrive, and I look forward to our conversation in 6 months time.
54 minutes | Oct 7, 2022
S3 E7 - Game, Set, Match With Jason Keatseangsilp
Jason Keatseangsilp grew up playing tennis in the sweltering heat of Arizona. He enjoyed the game so much that he was looking to play it collegiately. Unfortunately, in his senior year of high school (2011) he suffered a spinal cord injury following a fall. The T11-12 complete paraplegic picked up the pieces however, along with his tennis racquet again. After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Biomedical Engineering, Jason joined the professional wheelchair tennis circuit! He is currently the #3 American men's player who just competed in the 2022 US Open. Jason was kind enough to carve some time out of his busy schedule to join me on the latest edition of The QuadCast.
56 minutes | Sep 26, 2022
S3 E6 - My Conversation With Kevin Hoagland
Kevin Hoagland suffered a spinal cord injury in 1978, one year after graduating from St. Peter's High School. However, the C 4/5 quadriplegic has not it hold him back one bit. Kevin credits his family for instilling in him the compulsion to help others, and he's been doing just that in many different ways for years. As the Chairman of New Brunswick, NJ's Mayor's Committee for a Barrier Free town since 1988, he has been instrumental in making his hometown more accessible. Kevin was elected 6 times a Middlesex County Surrogate, and is the very proud founder and president of the Central Jersey Spinal Cord Association (1985 - present). If that wasn't enough, Kevin received the New Jersey Hall of Fame's Unsung Hero Award in 2018! If you haven't figured it out yet, Kevin Hoagland is my guest on this week's QuadCast! Thanks for all you do on behalf of the SCI community Kevin!
44 minutes | Aug 19, 2022
S3 E5 - Happy Pearl (30th) Anniversary
30 years is a long time. It is 10,957.27 days, 1,565.33 weeks, 360 months, 262,974.6 hours, 15,778,476 minutes, and 946,708,560 seconds. But who's counting? Me! That's because as of today, August 19, 2022, it's exactly how long I have been living with my spinal cord injury. And in honor of that, I decided to interview me, myself, and I. It is not as easy as it sounds, and I apologize if it rambles on. So, sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip (unfortunately down my basement steps). Please do stick around until the end for a special message to EVERYONE who has hung in there with me all these years!
41 minutes | Aug 8, 2022
S3 E4 - In The Friend's Zone With Scott Matalevich
Season 3 Episode 4 of the QuadCast features a new segment which I am calling: "In the Friend's Zone". My inaugural guest is Scott Matalevich, a gentleman I met through my peer counseling position at Kessler. We had the opportunity to chat this past 97° Saturday afternoon, and I hope you enjoy the conversation.
51 minutes | Aug 1, 2022
S3 E3 - A Conversation With SPINALpedia's Josh Basile
In 2004, at the age of 18, Josh Basile was paralyzed below the shoulders in a beach accident. Today, he is a C4-5 quadriplegic, power wheelchair user, medical malpractice lawyer, and disabilities rights advocate serving persons both in the courtroom and through policy initiatives. He is a community leader and changemaker who works tirelessly to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and to continuously break down existing barriers to access and inclusion. As if that weren’t enough, in 2007 he created SPINALpedia, the world’s largest paralysis video mentoring network with 23,000 videos searchable by physical functionality. Josh was kind enough to carve some time out of his busy schedule to join me for this episode of The QuadCast podcast.
49 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
S3 E2 - Rise To The Occasion With Jeanine Valenti
On Black Friday, November 23, 2001 at 2:00 in the afternoon, Jeanine Valenti kissed her 3 young children goodbye and headed off to a colleague's mother's wake. Unbeknownst to her, a driver on the other side of the road had fallen asleep at the wheel, causing him to cross traffic and t-bone her car. Jeanine's irresponsibly engineered SUV flipped leaving her a C6-C7 quadriplegic. She spent 1 month in the ICU followed by 4 months at Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation, putting her mind and body back together. Now an employee at Kessler, Jeanine runs the Think First program, is a featured lecturer in its Lunch and Learn series, and is a valued mentor to many newly injured patients. As if that weren't enough, she has just written a book called: "Rise To The Occasion", which will be published shortly. Truth be told, Jeanine is my colleague and friend. She also happens to be my guest on this week's episode of The QuadCast.
54 minutes | Jun 3, 2022
S3 E1 Anthony Zhang - Inspiration To Invest In
Following a presentation at USC from Mark Cuban and Mark Burnett (Shark Tank), Trojans freshman Anthony Zhang, pitched his business, EnvoyNow. The delivery startup capitalizing on the neglected college market impressed the sharks enough to invest $100,000 for 10% of the business. Soon after, The Thiel Foundation offered him an additional $100,000 to drop out of school and focus on EnvoyNow full time. Life was great, or so it seemed. Unfortunately, Anthony suffered a spinal cord injury, the result of diving into a pool in Las Vegas. Suddenly, everything he had been working on was put on hold. The young man who made building businesses from the ground up his career, would now have to do just that for his new body and mind. Anthony is my guest on this episode of The QuadCast. I enjoyed getting to know him, and bring his remarkable story to you.
55 minutes | May 7, 2022
S2 E15 - BACKBONES With Reveca Torres
Reveca Torres is an artist, photographer, costume designer, illustrator, and C-5/7 spinal cord injury survivor and thriver since the age of 13 following a car accident in 1994. In 2009 she, Veronica Gott, Patricia Mikicic and Annie Gonzalez founded BACKBONES, a non profit organization whose mission is to help people with spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D) and their families connect with their communities. They do this by creating events and experiences that promote awareness and engage people of all abilities. Reveca was kind enough to carve some time out of her busy schedule to share her story with me on the latest episode of the QuadCast.
54 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
S2 E14 - Thumbs Up With Mike Utley
This week’s podcast combines two things that have been front and center for me most of my life, sports and spinal cord injury. I was twenty-three years old in 1991, working my dream job in sports television. Week 12 of the NFL season that year was November 17, and the day started out just as any other. However, late in the 4th quarter of the Detroit Lions/Los Angeles Rams game, that would change. Lions offensive lineman Mike Utley injured his spinal cord doing something he told us he’d done a million times prior to that fateful play, blocking. I recall watching in shock as he lay on the field, wondering what it must be like to be paralyzed. Little did I know less than a year later I’d find out for myself. I have always admired Mike Utley from afar for his courage, strength, and class in facing such adversity on a national stage, So, I was thrilled when he agreed to join me for this week's episode of The QuadCast.
56 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
S2 E13 Much To Discuss With Chad Hymas...
S2 E3 - Much To Discuss With Chad Hymas took a while to come together, but is now in the books. As they say, good things come to those who wait. After a few scheduling bumps in the road, I am proud to share with you my conversation with a man the Wall Street Journal calls: "One Of The 10 Most Inspirational People In The World." Chad is a devoted husband, father of four (and now new grandfather), a decorated speaker, life coach, best-selling author, president of his own communications company and world-class wheelchair athlete. As if that weren’t enough, he is also one of the youngest ever to receive the Council of Peers Award For Excellence and to be inducted into the prestigious National Speaker Hall of Fame. As you can see, I have clearly outkicked my coverage here, and I can't thank Chad enough for shoehorning the QuadCast into his uber busy schedule.
49 minutes | Feb 16, 2022
S2 E12 If The Shoe Fits... With Billy Price
Billy Price was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. As a kid, aside from loving the outdoors, and playing sports with his friends, he could be found tinkering around in his father's woodworking shop, "trying to put things together", he told me. Now isn't that foreshadowing... Unfortunately, just weeks into his freshman year at the University of Washington, Billy endured a spinal cord injury and was paralyzed from the chest down. After hitting rock bottom in the immediate aftermath, he dedicated himself to his therapy, finished college and began working. Some years later, he caught up with a childhood friend, Darin Donaldson, and the two began a conversation. Darin was trying to manufacture shoes, and Billy longed for a pair that he could not only get on independently, but that were attractive also. And that was the beginnings of what today is BILLY Footwear, Their main focus is on shoes that embody "universal design", meaning they both appeal to and work for everyone. I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with Billy for this week's QuadCast. I hope you will enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
59 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
S2 E11 David Francisco - American Idol After All!
In the spring of 2016, David Francisco moved to Nashville Tennessee to attend the renowned Blackbird Academy. While riding his bicycle home one day he was hit by a distracted driver who ran a red light at a busy intersection. His back was snapped, his spinal cord severely damaged and his left forearm torn open. David's life was forever changed. Yet a year and half later, with the aid crutches, he WALKED out on national television to audition for Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan on American Idol! David had with him and acoustic guitar and his fiancée Kristi. The audition, viewed over 56 million times to date, inspired me and folks from coast to coast. On this week's QuadCast, you will hear all about this and much more because David and Kristi Francisco are my guests. And if that wasn't enough, they play us out with David's single Lionheart!
51 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
S2 E10 - Contento With Yannick Benjamin
Yannick Benjamin was born and raised in the heart of New York City. His parents immigrated from France and worked in the hospitality business. Over his formative years, he also developed an affinity for the restaurant/hospitality industry, and at age 13 decided to dedicate his life to it. Yannick worked in his early years at Le Cirque, Jean-Georges, Felidia and Atelier at the Ritz Carlton. In 2003 he was in a car accident which left him paralyzed from the waist down. Driven to continue working in the field he loved, now from a wheelchair however, he has blazed a trail for others to follow. In so much, Yannick is a co-founder and director of development for Wine on Wheels, an organization that helps recently disabled people. Earlier this year, Benjamin and partners opened the barrier free restaurant Contento (in East Harlem, New York), with the ethos and tagline “accessible for all". Among the things which make it just that are menus which help the visually impaired, and tables and sections of the bar which are designed specifically for wheelchair users. Yannick was kind enough to carve out some time from his busy schedule to join me on this week's QuadCast.
55 minutes | Dec 10, 2021
S2 E9 Robert Paylor - You Can't Keep A Good Man Down!
Robert Paylor suffered a life changing spinal cord injury just minutes into the 2017 collegiate rugby national championship game at Santa Clara University. In the immediate aftermath he was told that he would never walk again, or do much of anything else for that matter. Well, you can't keep a good man down. This past August, Robert walked across the stage at his graduation from the University of California at Berkeley! His profile on twitter and Instagram reads "Quadriplegic on a journey to walk again and inspire others". He is indeed an inspiration, who through determination and perspiration has achieved his aspiration of motivating anyone within the sound of his voice. Lucky for you today because Robert is my guest on this week's QuadCast.
33 minutes | Dec 2, 2021
S2 E8 Thank You, Thank You!
On this week's edition of the QuadCast, I introduce a new segment in the podcast series, called "Analysis of Paralysis". In lieu of a guest, I read articles found on the web and/or social media that highlight promising, exciting, groundbreaking, and hopefully game changing news/results for those of us living with spinal cord injury. Coming off of Thanksgiving, a time where we're giving thanks for what and who we have in our lives, this podcast gives a hearty THANK YOU to the doctors, scientists, researchers, therapists, etc. who work tirelessly to better the lives of those of us living with SCI. Stay tuned all the way to the end for a special message from Natalie Merchant!
54 minutes | Nov 4, 2021
S2 E7 Where There's Jamil, There's A Way!
Jamil Williams is a SCI Research Assistant and Peer Mentor at Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey. He lives with an L2 level spinal cord injury, the result of a gunshot wound in 2002. Jamil consents with participants on multiple studies that the Kessler Foundation runs pertaining to their injuries, he is an amazing peer mentor, a valued presenter for the Lunch and Learn Educational Series for newly injured people, and most of all, a great guy! Jamil is my guest on this week's episode of The QuadCast.