We are dedicating this podcast episode to Franklin Elieh, co-founder of NorCalSCI. Franklin died suddenly this past month after living for decades with an SCI. He embodied the critical characteristics of empathy, systems thinking and deep connection to the community that all successful advocates share. He also lived his life on the continuum of Care and Cure. His death is a reminder of the continued work we have ahead of us to improve Care and deliver Cures.
In this episode, Quinn and Jason talk about their experiences with SCI, meeting at Craig hospital, and their realization that the word “cure” is not embraced by everyone in our community. This podcast is an expansion on the conversation they had at our Science and Advocacy Symposium in 2021.
Revisit Franklin Elieh’s Advocacy Spotlight interview as well as the abbreviated version of Quinn and Jason’s Symposium discussion on our Video Library page here: Advocacy Strategies & Strategic Collaborations (DAY 1)
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.
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.