006 – The Man Who Died 9 Times: Jamie Poole

Summary

The first time Jamie Pool died, he was wearing a suit.

That suit turned out to be the difference between his cardiac arrest going unnoticed by passers-by, and him getting medical help that would save his life. Jamie suffers from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an often undetectable, but fairly widespread, genetic disease that causes unpredictable cardiac arrests.

Today Jamie copes with his illness through the use of a subcutaneous device called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) – essentially a defibrillator machine that is permanently attached to his heart. But over the last decade, Jamie experienced dying nine times – four of which happened on consecutive Thursdays!  [... read more ...]        go to episode

003 – This “Fat Girl Running” Defies All Ultramarathon Stereotypes: Mirna Valerio

Summary

On the first day of high school, Mirna Valerio went to hockey practice – and suffered. She was larger than the other players, and a lot less fit. Her coach, instead of telling her she was no good, encouraged her to keep going – and that’s why today Mirna is an ultramarathoner, speaker, author, and the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

The name of Mirna’s first blog, “Fat Girl Running”, describes exactly who she is – a body-positive larger woman who lives to run (and when she can’t do that anymore, surf). In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, Mirna tells Rob about the challenges she’s overcome to become a professional runner, the bullying she’s endured because of her body type, and the gratitude and compassion she’s discovered through changing her life and living her dream.

And – she believes that anyone can do the same, without so much as jogging around the block.  [... read more ...]        go to episode

001 – The Man Who Gave His Kidney To A Stranger: Harold Mintz

Episode Summary

When Harold Mintz met Gennet Belay, a stranger to whom he had donated one of his kidneys some months earlier, he wondered how that kidney could have possibly fit inside her. He was a  6’5” tall man, and she was a “tiny” immigrant from Ethiopia, that had suffered for years and years due to an increasingly failing kidney… But then she showed him the site of the surgery, and there it was:  a little lump on the left side of her back, clearly visible under her skin – Harold’s giant kidney working perfectly inside its crowded new quarters of a person he never met before…

Harold was the first living person in America to donate an organ to a complete stranger, after a change in legislation allowed this for the first time ever.

But what kind of person would even do that? In this episode, Rob Konrad asks him this and other burning questions, like: Was he afraid? Did he want to meet the recipient after the surgery? What if someone in his family needed a kidney down the line?  [... read more ...]        go to episode