Rim to Rim (Episode 95) Guests: Jason Stoffer, Robbie Prechtl, Quinn Brett
Today's conversation features my co-host Jason Stoffer, our new development director, Quinn Brett, and their adventure buddy and filmmaker Robbie Prechtl. Last year, Jason and Quinn completed a rim to rim trip of the Grand Canyon on handcycles(!). They were accompanied by Rob and a team of friends who came along for the adventure and to provide assistance. In case you don’t know, doing a rim to rim journey through the Grand Canyon means descending down to the basin of the canyon and then coming back up on the other side – a descent of 4,500 vertical feet from the south rim to the Colorado river, and then an ascent of 6,000 vertical feet to the north rim. It’s over 20 miles of narrow trails that were never intended for the adaptive trikes they were using.
There are three parts to this conversation: first, we talk about the physical trip itself - what led to it and how harrowing was it? Second, we explore the notion of identity, pre- and post-injury. As extreme athletes and lovers of the outdoors, how do Quinn and Jason adapt their SCI reality to continue to push boundaries? And lastly, how does all this relate to U2FP’s mission: this crazy, audacious, adventurous goal to cure paralysis? We believe this goal requires the SCI community’s direct involvement. Sometimes that seems like an adventure. Sometimes it seems like a crazy impossible canyon to traverse, and that comes up a little bit towards the end of the conversation as well.
As always, please share your thoughts with us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening!
Jason Stoffer lives in the Rockies of Northwest Montana with his wife and three children. He has a B.S. degree in Natural Sciences/Biology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Jason's love of outdoor adventure led him to work and play there as a mountaineer, long distance hiker, wild-land firefighter, search and rescue technician, EMT, and Law Enforcement Officer. A single vehicle rollover on his commute to work one morning resulted in an L1 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) and paraplegia. He has now turned his energies toward SCI cure advocacy and participates as a manager for the Cure Advocacy Network as well as continuing to host the CureCast podcast with Matthew. Follow Jason on Instagram here: @js_rolling
Rob Prechtl was raised in Fredonia, NY during the 1980's and 90's, a time period when it was customary for children to spend long hours outside playing, exploring, and learning about the natural world through experience. These early years set the foundation for a lifelong passion for the outdoors and adventure. After graduating college, Rob followed his desire to be close to nature and relocated to Vail, Colorado where he works as an adventure photographer and cinematographer. Outside of work, Rob is a member of the US Men's Raft Team and general outdoor enthusiast. Follow Rob on Instagram here: @alltoothmedia
Quinn Brett grew up in New Hope, Minnesota. After graduating with a degree in Psychology and Leadership from the University of Minnesota she bee-lined to Estes Park, Colorado where she had visited as a youth and found her first outdoor industry job at the YMCA of the Rockies. Athletics and movement have always been a big part of Quinn's life, from running the Twin Cities Marathon, triathlons, ultra-runs and rock climbing. In 2008, Quinn returned to school to obtain a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology as well as a social studies secondary teaching certificate. Traveling and the mountain lifestyle led her away from teaching in a classroom setting, and instead she acquired her Emergency Medicine training and Search and Rescue Training. She got hired as a climbing ranger in RMNP in the summer months, educating visitors on Public Land use and rescuing visitors with everything from twisted ankles to life-threatening injuries in precarious places. In the winter months she taught Wilderness EMT courses and traveled on various climbing expeditions. Quinn has established new routes and speed records on mountains across the globe, as well as all over the American West. In 2017, Quinn took a large climbing fall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, sustaining a T11 ASIA A Spinal Cord Injury. Her love to move through outdoor wilderness space continues as does her passion for educating others on spinal cord injury and research. Quinn serves as the Development Director for U2FP. Follow Quinn on Instagram here: @quinndalina
Related CureCast Episodes
Previous conversations on a variety of topics we've had with Quinn and/or Jason:
- The Care-Cure Divide - CureCast episode 62
- Sexcast (part 2) - CureCast episode 53
- Sexcast (part 1) - CureCast episode 52
- Climbing into Advocacy - CureCast episode 46