My name is John McAleavey, and on August 19, 1992 I suffered a Central Cord Syndrome injury to my cervical spine at the C-3/4 level following a fall down my basement steps. I was told early on that no two SCI’s are the same, and while that may be true, many of the struggles we're left with are. So let's talk about them. The QuadCast Podcast is mainly aimed at the disabled community, but is really for ANYONE looking to be inspired. You'll hear from fellow SCI'ers, to highlight their personal stories of struggle and triumph, doctors, therapists, and others who work on behalf of our community to share any new developments or breakthroughs in the fight. I hope that by talking/sharing/commiserating/LAUGHING, we will fully understand that no one is alone in this. Think of the QuadCast as a 30 to 45 minute session of OT/PT for the soul!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jenny is awesome!
The Quadcast delivers!
This podcast surprised me, wow, John does such an amazing job interviewing and keeping the conversation moving and inspiring those with mobility challenges and those without them. Subscribed, keep creating.
Amazing and inspiring messages from the heart!
This podcast is a must listen for all! A pervasive and beautifully articulated message throughout all episodes. A great vehicle for everyone to look within themselves and to understand and experience the true meaning of gratitude.