The QuadCast

The QuadCast

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!

Episodes

June 15, 2022 48 min
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 b...
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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 seeme...
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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 creati...
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March 17, 2022 53 min
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...
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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 c...
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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 f...
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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 telev...
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December 23, 2021 51 min
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 ...
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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 p...
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December 2, 2021 32 min
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 h...
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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 inj...
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John Floresca has worked in the Film/TV industry for 19 years, on shows such as Gossip Girl, Law and Order SVU, Project Runway, and Saturday Night Live. As a member of the Local 600 Cinematographers Union he has also worked on major movies like Spiderman 2 and Money Monster, as well as with stand up comedians like Tracy Morgan, Sebastián Maniscalco, and the late Norm McDonald to name a few. As if that wasn't impressive enough...
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September 9, 2021 44 min
Kelly Lamb and Jon David met one day before classes started their freshman year at the University of Arkansas in 2009. They ran in the same crowd and even dated some of each other’s friends, before realizing after too long that they saw a future together. Following graduation, Kelly moved to New York City and so a long distance relationship began. Unfortunately, on July 6, 2013, Jon David sustained a spinal cord injury from divi...
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The Impossible Dream, a universally accessible catamaran, is dedicated to raising awareness of barrier-free design and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through sailing. Thanks to folks like Deborah Mellen, owner of this amazing vessel, the Impossible Dream is POSSIBLE! Deborah, who has been paralyzed since 1989 following a car accident, had never sailed herself until being introduced to the seas by Dr. B...
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TJ Griffin grew up in Euless, Texas playing sports of all kinds, one day dreaming of being a coach. He was living a real life Friday Night Lights existence, great friends, fun times, a senior football player dating a cheerleader, when one particular Friday night in 1990 tragedy struck. Just before halftime on a special teams play he was not even supposed to be in on, TJ suffered a subluxation of his C 4/5 vertebrae tackling the r...
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Francesco Clark was 24 years old and his life was coming together when a diving accident left him paralyzed from the mid-chest down. Initially told he would never breathe on his own again or move anything from the injury site down, depression set in. It was not until Christopher Reeve passed away (3 years later) that he decided to take his life back. Around the same time, frustrated and unable to find cosmetics to combat skin co...
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Jana Shelfer is an inspiration! From entertainment to public speaking engagements, she inspires people to live their best lives through love, light, and laughter. Along with her husband Jason they have created their own YouTube channel, the Living Lucky Podcast, and a daily morning show on Facebook called Fun Day (think Regis and Kathie Lee but with huge mugs of coffee - ha ha). I was thrilled that she carved some time out of her ...
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Hi - Ho Hi - Ho It's Off To Work I Go! On this week's QuadCast, my guest is Kristen Russell, an assistive technology specialist here in New Jersey. Kristen has been devising game plans for folks in the disabled community return to work for over 14 years, and her guidance has been instrumental in my reentry.
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In The Secret of Difficulties, 4 Steps To Turn Tragedies Into Opportunities, Charles Fleisher shares what he's learned about taking challenging situations and turning them into just that... opportunities! He chronicles remarkable stories of individuals from different walks of life, who found them when they wouldn't have, had they not decided to overcome their daunting circumstances. Charles, who on October 10, 1988, was a ...
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March 3, 2021 53 min
Jenny Smith gravitated to gymnastics as a young girl. Little did she know that at age 16, the roundoff back handspring layout she attempted to do on wet grass, would end up in tragedy. However, the C6-7 spinal cord injury, which left her wheelchair bound, does not define her. Following high school, college (University of Louisville), graduate school, and beginning a career, Jenny launched www.jennysmithrollson.com, an amazing we...
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