Heroes in our midst is a podcast about the power inside the heart, the human behind the story, and the collection of idiosyncrasies that both make us unique and bond us together through a common humanity.
Join us as we are inspired, as we learn and as we are challenged to be better by the heroes in our midst and the stories that they tell.
MORE THAN AN ATHLETE SERIES: Tyler Hodgson
When Tyler Hodgson first enrolled at Grant Park in middle school, football wasn’t the first thing on his mind. Instead, he went there for the performing arts program.
Hodgson had no previous experience with the sport until grade nine when his buddies convinced him to try it out. The rest is history.
Originally a defensive back in grades nine and ten, a then 5’11” Hodgson shifted to playing both sides of the ball after hitting a massive growth spirt in grade 11.
It was impossible not to notice Hodgson during his senior year of high school in 2016. Now standing at 6’5″ he averaged a ridiculous 25 yards per catch, which drew the eyes of the Winnipeg Rifles who brought him into the fold after he graduated.
Through consistent work and a selfless attitude, he worked his way into a leadership role with the Rifles and is now set to play university football with UBC. This is his story.
Episode #42: James Bolton
Sometimes you know you need to talk about something as soon as possible and mental health seems to be top of mind right now. So, as we have shared the stories of some of our mainstream, frontline healthcare workers in the last 2 weeks, we thought it would be fitting to address mental health too.
A former volleyball teammate and very special personal friend of Michelle’s, Lorriann Ludwig works at the Manitoba Crisis Response Centre under the direction of Dr. James Bolton. Lorriann has become a good friend and follower of “Heroes in our Midst” and suggested that if we wanted to talk about mental health with anyone – it should be Dr. James Bolton, and no wonder. He is the Ruth Hurd Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba. He is cross appointed as a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Community Health Sciences at the U of M and is a Scientist at the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. As if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Bolton has spent the last 7 years as the Medical Director of the Shared Health Manitoba Crisis Response Centre in Winnipeg.
He has poured himself into the research of mental health, specifically, suicide prevention and he continues to, as part of the National Research Advisory Committee on Suicide and its Prevention.
So, enjoy your chance to learn, by listening to him talk about the incredible challenges that Covid has placed on mental health and so much more.
Enjoy, Dr. James Bolton, another hero in our midst.
Episode #41: Chau Pham
There was once a thought that by May of 2021 Covid would be a thing of the past. As we know, it is far from over and so it’s fitting that our focus in this episode is once again on our front-line medical workers in this challenging time. Now, the fact that Dr. Chau Pham is an Emergency Room Physician at the Health Sciences Centre during COVID alone, would make her a hero – add to that, she’s the Ultrasound Director, in the Department of Emergency Medicine, she’s an Assistant Professor, Max Rady College of Medicine and Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba – put that all together and she secures her place in the hero department… but if you ask me – her LIFE story and the person she is because of it, far outweighs her accomplishments in terms of what makes her an incredible human. She does not apologize for being real… she’s not afraid to share the good times AND the bad… and I am sure that after spending this time with us – you’ll feel inspired. You don’t hear a story like Dr. Chau Pham’s very often – I would venture to say maybe never and I am honored that she chose to share it with us from her beginnings as a small child in Vietnam, just 5 years old, put on a boat by her parents, alone, in hopes of reaching a land of more opportunity and a better life for their daughter. What a choice and what a journey to reconcile that choice – from both sides. Chau is now making the most of every single opportunity she has been given and has chosen a life of gratitude and what a difference she is making.
What a story and what a message for us all especially in this time, “We are all in this together”. Let’s continue to strive for that togetherness and not forget it, when we reach the other side of this pandemic and all that it’s brought to our lives.
Dr. Chau Pham – enjoy the journey with us.
Episode#40: Faisal Siddiqui
Episode 3 of Season 2 of “Heroes in our Midst” takes us into the world of medicine. Today’s story is special, not only because of his extraordinary accomplishments but because of the incredible human that is behind it. We thought it would be especially fitting to share today’s story with you in that our Manitoba medical system is being stretched beyond its limits right now. Most of us have no idea what it looks like on the inside of all of that. We thank our front-line medical workers but we can’t really even imagine how hard it’s been. We hear stories but we also have no idea what or who to believe. So, instead of listening to others telling their stories, we thought we’d just talk to one of our incredible Manitoba doctors himself, Dr. Faisal Siddiqui. Faisal was part of Dr. Cal Botterill’s first High-Performance Physician curriculum and you will hear the impact of that as he shares his story.
Presently, Faisal is an Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba in the Departments of Anesthesia and Medicine in the Section of Critical Care. He is also the Medical Director for the Surgical ICU at Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre. So, if anyone has seen the effect COVID has had on our medical system it’s him. I couldn’t be more grateful that he was willing to sit down with me via Zoom and show us all, the human side of those who truly are our present-day heroes. Of course, the best way to get to know anyone is to hear their story and that’s where I started my conversation with him. Get a tissue.
Episode #39: Troy Scott
Troy Scott’s story is SO relevant to the times we are living in. Troy has worked as a teacher and a Vice-Principal in Manitoba’s education system for 20 years and now, is the principal at Oak Park High School in Winnipeg. It’s his first year as principal at Oak Park and it is COVID. Troy is also very closely connected to one of our Season 1 heroes, he’s married to Canadian National Team Diving coach, Dallas Ludwick (Episode 28)… turns out she’s had quite the impact on him and he talks about that in our conversation.
I chatted with Troy in January of 2021, over Zoom of course, and fittingly, I caught up to him in his office… where it all happens. Now, even by the time we dropped this episode, restrictions had changed, and most likely they have already changed again, but you know, even in Pre-Covid times I would say that teaching is one of the noblest of professions. Troy is certainly a “hero in our midst” and represents a lot of people in a similar position who are in the education system in these incredibly tough times. And somehow, they are still finding a way to teach our children but even more importantly – to truly connect with them when they need it the most.
Learn what it’s really like for those in our schools every single day. Hear what it takes to lead a team of teachers through a year like we’ve never experienced before and be inspired by Troy Scott’s unending passion to make an impact on the young people in his care.
MORE THAN AN ATHLETE series: Desiree Scott
Midfielder Desiree Scott’s motto in life is “if you love what you’re doing and you’re willing to work, the sky is the limit.”
Known as “The Destroyer,” to many on the pitch, Scott’s work ethic has propelled her to stardom over the years. A Manitoba grown athlete, she chose to stay home for university, helping the newly-formed U of M soccer team to its best-ever record in 2007 while being named a conference all-star four times.
In 2010, Scott debuted for Team Canada’s senior national team. Just two years later, she helped the squad win a bronze medal at the Olympics, repeating the feat four years later.
Throughout the process, she stayed level, focusing on visualization and doing the little things right to succeed.
“I visualize myself making the first big tackle and connecting with my passes. Just the simple things. My game is very simple. If I do the little things well, the rest will come.”
Scott continues to show out for the middle province to this day. She’s helping develop the next generation of student athletes as the Director of Soccer Operations for Pro Prep Academy, a role she has immense pride in.
“To lay my hand on the soccer landscape is a no-brainer. To do it with like-minded people, I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”
This pod is such a great listen! I love how in depth and interesting each heroes story is. I love the host Michelle and how she is so well spoken and just an amazing human! Keep up the great work guys!!