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

April 29, 2021 38 min
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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February 4, 2021 47 min
I had the pleasure of speaking with Adam Taliaferro for this week's QuadCast. Adam was injured in 2000 making a tackle for Penn State against Ohio State at the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio. Paralyzed from the neck down initially, he not only got back on his feet within a year of his injury but he finished school, and then went on to Rutgers Law School. Today Adam is also a member of the New Jersey Assembly. I have admired him fr...
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Bill Purdy and I grew up less than 5 miles from each other having so much in common (love of sports, the Jersey Shore, and music, great families, etc.), but it took the SCI's we both had to bring us together. We've been great friends for over 25 years now and I'm thankful for that. This week's show highlight's his story, from athlete to musician to spinal cord injury survivor and thriver! Among the many thin...
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December 4, 2020 51 min
On this week's QuadCast, I catch up with my old friend, Joe Fabbio. We met at Kessler in 1992 and bonded pretty quickly. There was so much we had in common after all (age, love of sports, spinal cord injuries, etc.). Joe was the best, except he had a terribly negative attitude and outlook about being disabled and having to live his life as such. Joe was a real Debbie Downer back in the day, but time heals all wounds and I&#...
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Maegan Blau's Interior design career started with her personal journey to renovate and adapt her first home. In 2009 she incurred a spinal cord injury and has since been a wheelchair user. Being a quadriplegic comes with challenges, but her physical state has hardly held her back. This experience has inspired her to bring her unique perspective into the world of design. In 2018 she started Blue Copper Design to share that per...
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Ali Stroker is a groundbreaking performer! The spinal cord injury she suffered in an automobile accident at just two years of age has not held her back for one hot second. Ali made history in 2015 as the first actress in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway, in Deaf West's revival of Spring Awakening. Then in 2019 this trailblazer notched a few more firsts, to be nominated for AND win a Tony Award (Best Featured Actress In A M...
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A horrific bicycling accident should have killed Ron Gold in 2011, but instead, he survived more than two dozen life-threatening surgeries after a sleeping driver plowed into him on a quiet country road. The tragedy left Ron paralyzed with a permanently crushed spine and instantly cut short his successful 25-year career on Wall Street. Following his accident, Ron figured out a way to address America’s broken home care system and t...
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September 3, 2020 51 min
So what does it take to get folks who have suffered spinal cord injuries licensed and on the road again? How about adaptations for a car or van, what and where can those be done? I'm so glad you asked. Welcome to the "back on the road again" episode of The QuadCast. My guests are Rich Nead, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and Peter Ruprecht, president of Drivemaster To...
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August 27, 2020 62 min
Dr. Trevor Dyson-Hudson is currently the director of the Centers for Spinal Cord Injury Research and Outcomes & Assessment Research at Kessler Foundation in West Orange, NJ. In his 3rd-year of medical school (1992) he sustained a SCI - C6 tetraplegia, complete, while playing rugby football. Following a year of rehabilitation, he went back and finished medical school. Dr. Trevor, whose story of perseverance is off the charts ...
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August 20, 2020 52 min
A friend in need is a friend indeed! August 19 marked the 28th anniversary of my accident, and to "commemorate" the occasion I invited two of my besties, Robert Gallitelli and Jamie Padgett, to join me for a trip down memory lane. They, among many others, have been with me since day 1, and I love them for everything they've done for and with me! So, on this week's QuadCast, we reminisce about the good, the bad, and ...
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July 30, 2020 40 min
The Happiness Perspective, Transforming Physical Trauma Into Hope, Happiness and Connection, is a book written by my friend Farris Fakhoury. It chronicles his experiences as a physical therapist working in a rehabilitation hospital, treating individuals who have had life changing physical traumas. Over time he noticed that his patients, who had the right perspective, were able to heal physically and mentally much faster. In the boo...
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July 24, 2020 42 min
The QuadCast has reached double figures! Episode #10 features my friend, Eric LeGrand. You will find out which sport he thought would be his college calling, what was going through his mind as he laid motionless on the field at MetLife Stadium following his injury, and just how "A Walk To Believe" came to fruition. Plus we talk about how wonderful our moms are, and of course some Rutgers football. It is all part of your wee...
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It is a "Back To Work" edition of The QuadCast! My guest is Adria De Simone, Vocational Resource Facilitator at Kessler Institute For Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey. Adria guides us through how she helps spinal cord injury survivors overcome barriers and return to work. She talks about different services that are helpful for people with SCI, and overall is an amazing advocate for the community (I know this firsth...
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July 11, 2020 38 min
As you know, I like to give my episodes a title. With all due respect to Hollywood and ABC television in particular, I am going to borrow this week's from one of their medical dramas. My guest is Dr. Steven Kirshblum, the "Good Doctor"!
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Ever wonder what the process of breeding, raising, and training assistance dogs for people living with disabilities is like? This week you'll find out how Canine Companions For Independence does all of that and more, from the organization's Client Services Program Manager, Jessica Reiss. Then Mike Saverino, former President of New Jersey's Volunteer Chapter for Canine Companions, and two time graduate of their team tra...
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June 18, 2020 39 min
Alan T Brown is a spinal cord injury survivor and thriver! Since his accident in 1988, he has been a driving force and an amazing advocate for the disabled community. Alan has completed three New York City marathons, has a World Series ring, and has been known to skydive among other things. However, his philanthropy is his calling card. The Alan T Brown Foundation has raised much-needed awareness for folks living with spinal co...
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The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. On this week's QuadCast, CAF Senior Director, Doug Olson, and 6x Ironman finisher, Glenn Hartrick are my guests. Doug explains what CAF is, and how they help the physically challenged participate in sports, and Glenn tells us what competing in a triathlon is like...
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June 4, 2020 38 min
Maryann Hobbie is a writer, educator, artist, and SCI survivor and thriver! Her life's main goal is to integrate her life experiences, talent and education in service to those whose lives have been altered by catastrophic, physically disabling experiences, terminal illness and loss. As if that isn't enough, she's also my guest on this week's QuadCast. Thank you Maryann!
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