Even though it's been a crazy upside down year, there's been so much to celebrate inside The MS Gym. From member victories to the three year anniversary of The MS Gym, there've been more and more people with MS jumping on the neuroplasticity train and living life by design not by diagnosis.
Today, I sat down with Ken Allen, Trevor's right hand man and guiding force within the MS gym to get an inside look at what makes the Gym tick behind the scenes and what changes we have to look forward to in 2021.
We talk about everything from what differentiates membership content from free content to membership costs, to the exciting new options that are going to be heading your way in 2021 as their business model evolves.
So, get comfy, grab a cup of coffee or maybe some hot cocoa and get motivated about what lies ahead for you inside The MS Gym.
- Ken's 6 top priorities
- Marketing Trevor's expertise
- Technology behind the scenes
- The MS Gym being pandemic-proof
- Increased interest during the Covid era
- The advantages of online vs. in-person PT
- What sets the paid membership content apart from free content
- Trevor believes in you
- Immediate and long-term victories
- The cost of membership
- The ever-changing business model
- Symptom-specific programs
- A la carte offerings
- New content coming in 2021
- Which programs are being revamped
- What is BGB?
- The MS Gym in social media
- Building lifelong friendships
- Global reach
- The MS Gym 5 years from now
THE MS GYM - Website
THE MS GYM - Facebook Page
THE MS GYM - Instagram
Join us today as we talk with our own Wonder Woman, Kelly O'Connell, as she shares the challenges of balancing work, exercise, and family.
Learn more about her:
- Diagnosis and primary symptoms
- Daily schedule and how she prioritizes exercise
- Career and daily work challenges
- Motivation and her WHY
- Inspirational attitude
- Decision to disclose her disease to her clients
- Desire to make memories with her family
- Advice for fellow MS Gym Members
A TALE OF TWO HSCT FACILITIES : Two Veterans Compare Notes on Their HSCT Experiences in Russia & Mexico
HSCT (hematopoietic stem cell transplant) veterans Brooke Slick and Jodi Feltham sit down for a one-on-one to discuss the differences between having HSCT done in Mexico and in Russia. These facilities are currently two of the most popular HSCT treatment facilities around the world, and due to their similar protocols, they are often the two that are most-compared before making a final decision. In this episode, Jodi and Brooke break down the differences into bite-size pieces that are easy to digest.
Be sure to check out the links below to access resources discussed in this episode.
- What is HSCT?
- The types of MS and EDSS score
- Discovering HSCT
- The drugs/treatments that failed before deciding to pursue HSCT
- Choosing a facility from all the options
- The two types of protocols and which one is riskier
- The types of protocols Mexico and Russia utilize
- The cost of treatment
- Financing the treatment
- Which facility requires a caregiver
- Where does the patient stay and where do friends/family/caregivers stay?
- Creating lifelong bonds with other patients and families
- When does the chemotherapy begin?
- The #1 fear-inducing part of treatment
- Your attitude/mindset going into HSCT
- The EDSS (mobility score) cutoff for acceptance
- Physical therapy after HSCT
- The value of The MS Gym during recovery
- A myth of HSCT
- The ultimate goal of HSCT
- The mistake of waiting until you're "bad enough"
- Beware of scam stem cell facilities
- Do your research
- If a stem cell treatment does not include chemotherapy, it isn't HSCT
- Advice to up-and-comers
- Patience during recovery is paramount
- What will set you up for disappointment?
- Is it experimental?
As the world continues to adjust to the ever-changing normal it's more important than ever to find connection in a safe community.
Today's podcast highlights the many benefits of The MS Gym Coffee Chats, yet another perk of being a member.
Two of the Coffee Chat hosts, Deb & Erica, join me today to discuss:
- How the Coffee Chats came to be
- How they keep the atmosphere light and positive despite the chaos going on around us
- The connection forged between members
- The benefits of Buddy Groups
- How their own lives have been enriched as hosts
Today's episode is all about wheelchair and accessible travel, but our guest, though an international expert in this field, brings way more to the table than just that. For instance,
She's an award-winning accessible travel writer, blogger and photographer, travel agent, author, entrepreneur and disability rights advocate.
She's a service disabled US Air Force veteran, full-time wheelchair user, single mother and former Miss wheelchair USA.
She's the founder of the award-winning Spin the Globe travel blog where she shares her traveling experiences from around the world in a power chair. She shares tips and tricks from her own travels, she gives fellow wheelchair users the tools and the confidence to create their own travel adventures without fear. Her travel articles have been featured in the New York Times, New Mobility Magazine and Lonely Planet and she's published three accessible travel-related books. And, I don't want to forget her 130 travel-related videos that she's created and produced from around the world. Videos led to voiceover work and that led to voiceover acting. She is a powerhouse! But there's more...
Though all Sylvia's accomplishments I've mentioned so far are related to what we're going to be talking about today, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention one of the most intriguing areas of her resume. Sylvia is an expert on Mexico's drug war and border security, and has been a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, to name a few. She's also been a guest expert on the History Channel's Brad Meltzer's Decoded in America's War on Drugs and has consulted for producers of the National Geographic Channel's Border Wars and Drugs Inc. series She is also an author of two books on these issues as well as hundreds of articles for Homeland Security publications.
To say that Sylvia is "more than her MS" wouldn't do her accomplishments any justice.
Join me now as I get the inside scoop from Sylvia on why travel post-disability IS possible, is way more accessible than you might imagine, and how your dream of traveling solo with a disability is absolutely achievable.
- A quote to set the tone
- Documenting everything
- The psychological grieving process
- Preparing for what's to come
- Anticipating medical retirement
- Keeping one foot in the door of her career
- Pivoting from drug trafficking, border security and human trafficking to her passion for travel
- Travel as a form of healing
- Finding the confidence to travel alone with a disability
- How a 16-hour flight to Dubai set the bar
- Becoming a professional travel blogger and the birth of Spin the Globe
- How doing your homework on a destination is key
- Accessible travel 101
- Identifying your limitations
- Taking incremental steps to find your comfort zone
- Traveling solo
- Asking for help
- The biggest travel-related setback she's encountered so far
- Frankfurt and a broken scooter
- Timing layovers to accommodate your ability
- The country that is surprisingly more accessible than you might think
- Patience, patience, patience
- Personal boundaries
- Projecting positivity while traveling in a wheelchair
- Being grateful for what you CAN do
- Wheelchair vanity. It's a thing.
- When people look at your mobility device as cool
- Arranging MS drug therapy with your travel schedule
- Three things a traveler with a disability should never travel without
- Being resourceful when hotel accessibility is a challenge
- Wheelchair accessible cruising
- Cruising during the Covid era
- Expert advice to new wheelchair users
- Adapt and overcome
- Where to find all of Sylvia's resources
Spintheglobe.net - Sylvia's blog, travel consultations/opportunities, books (travel & drug war-related), photos, cool merch, media kit and more!
The Canadian MS Society states that:
- 77,000 Canadians live with the disease
- MS can occur at any age, but is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20-49
- MS affects individuals during the peak years for education, career and family-building
- MS is 3 times more likely to affect women than men
Today’s guest Melissa Hayes candidly shares her struggles and challenges with:
- Her Diagnosis at age 23
- Starting a new career in the midst of multiple MS symptoms
- Having multiple relapses at once
- Worsening of her disease while on a Disease Modifying Therapy (DMT)
- Raising a toddler
- Reaching out for help
- Having to enlist the help of daycare
- Family planning
- The fear of the future
But the story doesn’t end there. Melissa also shares her goals and dreams for the future with her:
- New DMT
- Finding the MS Gym
- Improvements of MS symptoms through daily exercise
- Accountability and Buddy Groups
- New baby
- Belief for herself and her healing
- Vision and her "WHY"
I wanted to welcome you all back from summer break and give you a taste of what to expect this upcoming season. If you haven't already heard the announcement, Jodi Feltham, who already plays a huge role in the organization of the MS Gym behind the scenes will be joining me this season as a co-host. To say I'm thrilled would be an understatement. Jodi's episodes will be focusing on member victories, struggles and lifestyle, while my episodes will continue to feature guests related to all things MS life. Add to that, freestyle episodes where Jodi and I bounce MS-related topics off each other, plus select recordings of Jodi's fan favorite, Motivation Mondays, and the new season is guaranteed to keep you tuning in. Let's get started with Jodi's Motivational Monday from this week titled radical acceptance.
CLINICAL TRIALS, MEDICAL TREATMENT AND THE BLACK MS COMMUNITY: A History Lesson with Dr. Mitzi Joi Williams, Damian Washington & Jenna Green
I recently had the opportunity to be part of a round table discussion that focused on how the medical history of yesterday affects the decisions of black patients in the MS community today.
At the table we have neurologist, Dr Mitzi Joi Williams aka, Dr. Mitzi, who was recently part of the MS Gym Summit; MS advocate, Damian Washington, who is also the creator of the popular YouTube vlog No Stress MS; along with MS advocate, blogger and Instagram phenom Jenna Green, creator of the blog Full of Grit and Grace.
Take a listen as Dr. Mitzi unpacks the complicated history of medical distrust for us.
DR. MITZI JOI WILLIAMS
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mitzi: Joi Life Wellness Group
For more information on Dr. Mitzi, visit her personal website, to book her as a speaker, purchase her books, or read her blog, at https://drmitzijoimd.com/
YouTube: No Stress MS
Website: Full of Grit and Grace
Mentioned in this episode:
Book: Medical Apartheid - The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present
Host: Brooke Slick
Hi everyone! It's Brooke, and I'm popping on to let you know about an exciting project we've been working on, and, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of our move to an interview format of the podcast. I'm going to share some fun little statistics about the progress we've made and who we're reaching with our content. I'll also be sharing a link to registration to The MS Gym Thrive Summit below. So let's get started!