Episode 046 -- 2018 Top 10 Stroke Hacks

This is the last episode of the year, and it's a little different. I'm sharing my 10 favorite hacks of the weeks for the year.

Special thanks to Emilee Mason, Kristen Dingman, the folks from the Slow Road to Better, and Whitney Morean for their contributions. And thanks to all the guests who joined me and generously shared their stories in 2018

Before we get to the hacks, I want to share a story from Doctor Who. In the episode Heaven Sent, which is one of the best episodes the show has ever released, the lead character, The Doctor, a time-travelling super smart alien, finds himself stuck in some sort of prison. He has to gradually work his way out. Eventually, he figures out how, and he tells a story created by the Brothers Grimm about a bird:

The Brothers Grimm, lovely fellas. They're on my darts team. According to them, there's this emperor and he asks this shepherd's boy, how many seconds in eternity?

And the shepherd's boy says, there's this mountain of pure diamond. It takes an hour to climb it, and an hour to go around it!

Every hundred years, a little bird comes and sharpens its beak on the diamond mountain. And when the entire mountain is chiseled away, the first second of eternity will have passed!

You must think that's a hell of a long time.

Personally, I think that's a hell of a bird.

Stroke recovery is a long, slow process, and sometimes it feels like an eternity.

As a stroke survivor you are not the mountain. You are the bird. And you are a hell of a bird.

The Hacks

Program Notes

You may notice a slight echo in my intro and outro. I'm producing this episode from Currently Speaking Studios East (AKA my mother's guest bedroom) and experimenting with a different setup.

Also, for those who are curious, the sound clip between hacks is the sound of a Kodak slide projector changing slides -- the non-PowerPoint variety.

[caption id="attachment_524" align="alignnone" width="169"]A small stuffed penguin looks at a microphone Miles (http://traveling-penguin.blogspot.com/) considers starting his own podcast. He fell behind on his blog so he's also considering Instagram to chronicle his adventures, He's a busy bird[/caption]

Where do we go from here?

  • What are your favorite tips for living with disabilities? Go ahead and tell us in the comments below.
  • Do you know anyone who might find these tips helpful? Share this episode with them by giving them the link http://strokecast.com/2018hacks 
  • Subscribe for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 093 -- 18 Public Speaking Tips

2018 has been a great year for 2-Minute Talk Tips, and I got to talk with some amazing people from around the world for the show, This week, I pull together the initial tip from each guest into a single episode. If you want to listen to the whole episode each tip came from or explore the guest's background, click in the link below.






Iszi Lawrence

Tell a story


Mario Porreca

Practice in the shower


Melanie Childers

Raise Your Energy


Pradeepa Narayanaswami

3 Tips for stage comfort


Melissa Bird

Find Your Fire


Catie Harris

Connect with your audience


Victoria Mavis

Write down your thoughts


Louise Brogan

Make eye contact


Patricia Missakian

Influence one person


Hilary Billings

Focus on feeling


Denise Vaughan

Know you can do it


Diana Wink

Thread a story through your talk


Bilal Moin

Be alive


Scott Charlston

Choose your headline


Andrew 'Mecha' Davis

Practice in the mirror


Donnie Boivin

Get on stage


Philip Andrew

Describe your audience


Greet your audience

Dave Jackson


Call to Action 


  • What has been your favorite tip from the show this year? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Do you think these tips are helpful? Share this episode on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or the social media platform of your choice with the link http://2minutetalktips.com/2018tips
  • Check out full episodes from the links in the table above
  • Don't get best...get better



2-Minute Talk Tips is the public speaking podcast that help you become a more effective speaker in as little as 2 minutes a week.

Check out this episode!


Episode 045 -- Meet the Stromies

Angie Jorgensen, Sarah Conaway, and Tamsen Butler are the Stromies -- The Stroke Homies. They are 3 stroke survivors brought together by this life threatening event many of us went through. They started a blog to share their stories in February 2018. It started simply, and other survivors followed. Then other survivors shared their stories.

Dozens and dozens of survivors are now featured on the blog supporting their own recoveries by sharing their experiences and empowering readers looking to make a connection.

The Stromie energy is a force. And it's just getting started.

Group shot of Stromie Sarah, Stromie Angie, and Stromie TamsenI connected with the Stromies from my home office in Seattle while they met up at a coffee shop in Omaha, NB. Sometimes it still amazes me that technology allows this to happen.

Stromie Sarah is a busy mom and speaker. A survivor of both stroke and Lupus, her amazing recovery story provides hope for others.

Stromie Tamsen is a mom, certified fitness instructor, and award-winning author. Her massive stroke at age 41 was unexpected and life-changing.

Stromie Angie is a mom and certified fitness instructor. In 2012 she was in a coma, suffered a stroke and found out she had a rare kind of cancer called a pheochromocytoma. Her amazing recovery continues to inspire the people around her.

Hack of the Week

The Stromies gives us two Hacks this week. 

Stromie Angie says to look for one good thing every day.

We all deal with trauma and the fallout from a stoke we or a loved one had, and it can be easy to spiral into a dark place. It's helpful to recognize that there are still good things around us. There is good in the world.

I would add that it's helpful to write that down every day. Record one good thing a day. Or post it on social media. Go back from time to time and look at this list of good things. Because sometimes we all need a reminder.

Stromie Tamsen add that visualization is a powerful tool in recovery. Imagine a deer trying to get to the middle of a corn field. That deer may struggle to get any result the first time it tries. The next time, it may get a little further, and the next time, further still. Each time it's simpler and easier to go a certain distance because that deer has been wearing down a path. Eventually that deer makes it to the center.

That's neuroplasticity. Each rep you do of an exercise is one more corn stalk bent out of the way. It's a little bit more of a neuro-pathway. Do enough reps over time, and you, can get to the center of the field.




Stromies on Facebook


Stromies on Instagram


Stromies on Twitter


Sarah's email


Tamsen's email


Angie's email


Tamsen's author page on Amazon


American Heart Association


American Heart Association -- Omaha


American Heart Association -- Seattle


Stromies on the AHA


ECMO for Adults


Kcentra info



Where do we go from here?

  • Check out stromies.com to learn more about the Stromies and read the amazing stories of survival, recovery, and thriving
  • Connect with one or more of the Stromies via social media or email, and share your story. You can find all those links above
  • Share this episode with someone you think might appreciate the Stromie story by giving them the link http://strokecast.com/stromies
  • Visualize a cornfield as part of your recovery
  • Find one good thing every day, whether or not you had a stroke
  • Don't get best…get better



Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 092 -- Greet Your Audience and Meet Dave Jackson


2-Minute Tip: Greet Your Audience


A lot of speakers pace back stage or pound coffee or try to deal with nerves in other ways before going out to speak. 


Instead, go out into the audience as folks are arriving, and greet audience members. Have a brief chat to get to know folks. This accomplishes a few things.


  • It gives you something to do and gets you out of your own head
  • It gives you information you can leverage in your talk to better connect with the audience while you speak
  • It gives you a friendly face to look out at from the stage
  • It let's an audience member feel heard and gives them a favorable impression of you



Post Tip Discussion: Meet Dave Jackson


About 10 years ago, my team and I were looking at ways to integrate this brand new podcasting thing into our corporate training and brand evangelism efforts. I was already a fan of the medium, so I started listening to podcasts about podcasting to figure out how we could do it. Ultimately, I turned most of that project over to Tim Garber who appeared on this show way back in episodes 10 and 11 and who you can still hear at the end of every episode today.


But all that is how I found with Dave Jackson whispering in my ear from the School of Podcasting as I tried to find my way to a taxi at the Philadelphia airport in 2008.


I've been a fan of Dave's work and all he's done for this medium for a long time, and I'm thrilled to have him on the show today.


One of the most important lessons in this chat is that while Dave is an experienced speaker, he still gets nervous before a talk. And then he does the talk anyway. He also still takes the time to rehearse, practice out loud, and try the stage before folks come in.


There's a lot more in today's conversation, too.


So who is Dave?


Dave Jackson Headshot

Dave Jackson started experimenting with audio on the Internet in 2004. In 2005 he launched his first podcast and soon launched the School of Podcasting (the Internet's first site dedicated to helping people learn the right way). His accomplishments include:


  • 3.2 Million Downloads
  • 3044 Episodes
  • Director of Podcasting for the New Media Expo
  • Featured Speaker at Podcast Movement 2014- 2018
  • Featured and Keynote Speaker at Podcast Mid Atlantic and Podfest Orlando
  • 2018 Inducted into the Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame



Unlike many other “geeks” who know how to podcast, Dave's been a technical trainer for over 20 years. This means he not only understands the technology but can explain it in a plain English “geek-speak free” environment. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Education from the University of Akron (Specializing in technical education). While there are other podcast consultants, Dave believes his experience sets him apart in regards to helping folks make sense of the entire podcasting process. He not only help with the “how,” but  also explains the why, and makes sure new podcasters avoid common podcasting pitfalls. Dave's won awards at fortune 500 companies for hi customer service. In a nutshell, he cares.


A Video Interlude









School of Podcasting


Dave Jackson's other Shows


Dave on Facebook


Dave on Twitter


Dave on YouTube


Thinkific Online Training


School of Podcasting with Cathy Heller


Academy of Podcasters Hall of Fame


FocusRite scarlett 2i2


Applying ADDIE to Public Speaking (2-Minute Talk Tips Episode 041)


Talk Like Ted Book Review

(2-Minute Talk Tips Episode 005)


Tim Garber Part 1

(2-Minute Talk Tips Episode 010)


Tim Garber Part 2

(2-Minute Talk Tips Episode 011)


Secrets of Dynamic Communication by Ken Davis



Call To  Action


  • What did you hear from Dave today? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out Dave's School of Podcasting if you're thinking of starting a show or just want to learn more about the insides of a podcast
  • Next time you're speaking, greet the early arriving audience members personally.
  • Share this episode with anyone thinking of starting a show by giving them the link http://2minutetalktips.com
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips for free in your favorite podcast app
  • Don't get best…get better

Check out this episode!


Episode 044 -- Meet CEO Lana Malovana and Raccoon.Recovery

Raccoon.Recovery device on handI'm sure you're shocked to know that I love technology. And it's not just because I've spent a career in the industry. It's because these tools have the power to change lives. It's one reason I was thrilled to talk to Lana Malovana, the CEO of European Startup Raccoon.Recovery about their device and platform to support stroke recovery through video games.

Raccoon Recovery originally made controllers for video games and VR. The genesis for the controller we talk about today was in 2016 when one of their engineers injured his hand and couldn't do his regular work. He moved to a testing role and his PT was blown away by the progress he made by using the controller at work. Raccoon made the pivot to rehab devices following meetings at TechCrunch in 2017. Lana will tell us more about that story.

Another point we talk about is one that comes up here when we talk about therapy goal, or on my other podcast, 2-Minute Talk Tips, where we talk about benefits. Effective therapy isn't about achieving a certain level of motion or degree of rotation with patients. It's about empowering patients to do something with that motion -- to get the benefit from it. To drink from a glass of water, buckle a seatbelt, draw a sword, or play a game.

One of my OTs frequently reminded me that neuroplasticity is great, and making those neuroplastic connections will ultimately require thousands of repetition. Thousands.

And video games make those thousands of repetitions possible.

The big thing that's happening among the tech gear I've talked about on the show, like the NeoFect Rapael Smart Glove and the blood pressure monitoring solution from Sentinel Healthcare, is that it's not about the Device itself. It's about the platform. It's about communicating more effectively with a care team. It's about using the data the device generates and collects to help the medical team make more effective recommendations to the patient, and to pool data in such a way that machine learning algorithms can drive even better treatment in the future.

Raccoon Recovery Device to Tablet illustration

It's now December 2018 and Raccoon Recovery's device is going through testing and validation. They hope to have it on the market next year.


Svitlana Malovana HeadsgotSvitlana Malovana is a co-founder of Raccoon.World and an IT and robotics enthusiast with more than 6 years of experience in company scale up and management.

She is also the founder of Olans Group, the first startup-oriented legal & business consulting company in Ukraine. While being CEO and a practical lawyer at Olans Group, Lana dealt with medical companies including ArtoMed and Cardiomo as well as hardware and software startups like Arqa Technologies, Paybeam, PRODBOARD, and SmartSport, in the Ukrainian, EU and USA markets.

Lana studied the details of emerging businesses and, being a huge fan of technologies, founded Raccoon.World.

As an enthusiast of returning people with disabilities to society, Lana studied the ways of psycho emotional and physical rehabilitation for people with disabilities during the international Zwischenland course by Deutch-Polnisches Jugenwerk.

When the anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine began, she voluntarily provided legal services for the “Return alive!” Public Organization and Handicap Foundations that were engaged in fundraising, the supply of medicines, and the recovery of people after returning home.

Lana is an alumni of numerous business programs, including YC School, SABIT, Crowd Inc. and the Startupbootcamp Digital Health (Berlin) Accelerator.

Combining strong entrepreneurial skills, deep knowledge in emerging business management, and knowledge about rehabilitation for people with disabilities, Lana initiated and headed the new pivot for Raccoon.World – gaming solution to rehabilitation with Raccoon.Recovery.


Hack of the Week

One thing that can be tough is putting on a belt. Reaching all the way to my affected side belt loops with my strong arm while trying to not knock myself over and balance appropriately while standing is tough. If I was still in a wheel chair it would have been even harder.

The solution I landed on was inspired by JC Penney trousers I got in the 80s. They came with a belt already threaded! My reaction at the time was "Cool! Free belt!"

The trick to putting on a belt now with hemiparesis is to thread the belt through the belt loops before I put on the pants. It's a simple solution, but it works.


Lana Malovana on Twitter


Lana Malovana on LinkedIn


Lana Malovana on Facebook


Raccoon Recovery


Raccoon Recovery on Facebook


Raccoon Recovery on LinkedIn


Raccoon Recovery on Twitter


Raccoon Recovery Email


World Health Organization (WHO)


WHO on Stroke


Where do we go from here?

  • Checkout Raccoon.Revery to learn more about their rehab solution, and reach out to Raccoon Recovery via social media or email with any questions you might have. You can find those links above.
  • Do you know anyone with an interest in technology, startups, or rehab? Share this episode with them by encouraging them to visit http://strokecast.com/raccoon
  • Subscribe to Strokecast in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode
  • Don't get best…get better



Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 091 -- Describe your Audience and Meet Phillip Andrew


2-Minute Tip: Describe your Audience


Back in 2008,  Best Buy described 4 personae who represented their target customers. The even started designing different stores to appeal to Buzz, Barry, Ray, or Jill. They had detailed descriptions for theses archetypes.


I'm not sure if it's the best approach for a big-box retailer, but it can help your talks.


It's important to understand your target audience. Start by describing the one person you wan to reach. Who are they? What do they do? What do they wear? Where do they work? What is family like? Why do they need to hear your message? What will happen to them if they don't heed your call to action?


This exercise provides a useful framework for understanding your audience and tuning to message to maximize it's effectiveness. After all, it's hard to tell a story when you don't know who you're telling it to.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Phillip Andrew


Phillip Andrew is a speaker and TV producer with a special interest in the youth market. And he is a delight to talk to. I wanted go even deeper into a whole bunch of areas, but this would have been a 5 hour episode.


As it is we covered topics as far ranging as:

  • The impact of YouTube on speakers
  • The variety of kids a speaker must address
  • And the value The value of coaching


Plus, did you ever wonder what a TV producer does? Phillip Tells us.


Overall, Phillip is just an engaging conversationalist who brings tremendous energy to everything he does.


Phillip Andrew headsot

Phillip Andrew is a speaker, author, media coach, Emmy-Nominated TV producer, DJ and more. Based in Los Angeles, he travels around the country educating and encouraging High School and College Students through high energy entertainment and unforgettable storytelling. He's passionate about educating, entertaining, and connecting with people in a way that encourages, empowers, and provokes insight.


He began drinking at age 11 and lost his mother in High School. Today, he lives a life in recovery, speaking with kids about overcoming addiction, surviving the loss of a parent, and how learning to take ownership over his life and became a catalyst for the positive change that helped him create a life he is proud of today.






Phillip Andrew Website


Phillip's Email


Phillip on Instagram


Philip on Twitter


Philip on Facebook


Philip on LinkedIn


Philip's Blog



Call To Action


Check out this episode!


Episode 043 -- Telemedicine and Sentinel Healthcare


Tracking Blood Pressure

After my stroke (and before my stroke, too) I'm supposed to monitor my blood pressure regularly. That means I have to:

  • Put the cuff on my arm
  • Relax while it reads the data
  • Record the data on my log
  • Print off my log when I go see the doctor every few months

Seems simple, right?

Well here's where it gets complicated.

Because my left arm was affected by the stroke, I can't get reliable blood pressure there. Tone, spasticity, occasional edema, lack of use, and variable circulation mean the results are less accurate.

That means, I have to put the cuff on my right arm to get a reading. Have you ever tried to scratch your right elbow with your right hand? Yeah. You can see the challenge.

As I've gotten a little more left arm use back, I can kind of get the cuff in place by also using my teeth. That involves frustration, effort, and all sorts of movement. You know what that does? Yup. It raises my blood pressure.

When The GF is around, she can place the cuff which helps.

Of course that's best in the summer. In the winter, I'm wearing fleece or sweaters. And I don't want to take them off. So now I'm less likely to take a reading.

When I do take a reading during the day and log it, great. That data may be helpful in another 6 months.

But what if there was a better way?

Sentinel Healthcare

Long time listeners will be happy to welcome neurologist and Sentinel Healthcare CEO Dr. Nirav Shah back to the show. Nirav and Sentinel have that better way.

In Sentinel's solution, a patient uses a highly accurate wrist cuff blood pressure reader to take a reading, which transmits via Bluetooth to their iPhone and into a secure platform that gets that data to the care team. It solves the problems above while creating a bigger data-set to provide better care for the patient.

This week, I talk with Nirav about telemedicine in general and about what he and Sentinel are doing to pair telemedicine with blood pressure management to help patients receive better care while making it easy to comply with doctors' post-hospital instructions


Dr. Nirav H Shah HeadshotDr. Nirav H. Shah is a fellowship trained neurologist and sub-specialist in cerebrovascular and stroke medicine with board certifications in: neurology, stroke medicine, carotid neurosonology, transcranial doppler ultrasound, and neuroimaging.

He is a practicing neurohospitalist and served as the stroke medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Academically, he is interested in emergent and critical care neurology research and is an associate editor for The Neurohospitalist, a peer-reviewed journal. He enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating on publications and conference presentations.

Outside of clinical care Dr Shah is collaborating with experts to develop scalable technologies capable of ameliorating healthcare’s challenges. He consults with startups and investors to develop technologies and devices so that one day they are available to his patients. He has worked with companies to meet FDA regulations for approval as well as to help them understand the provider perspective of product-market fit.

Dr. Shah is also the CEO and Founder of Sentinel Healthcare. He is also a passionate traveler and photographer.


Sentinel Healthcare


Sentinel Healthcare launches platform to fill gaps between IoT devices and doctors' offices




Hypertension costly to patients, society


Apple unveils Watch Series 4 with FDA-approved ECG


Nirav’s previous appearances


Nirav on Stem Cells and Stroke Recovery


Nirav  on LinkedIn


Nirav at Swedish


Nirav on Twitter


The Neurohospitalist


Nirav’s Photography


Hack of the Week -- Bring Joy to your Rehab Team

As a survivor, do you like the work your inpatient team did? Did they help you walk or eat or speak again? If you haven't talked with them since leaving the hospital, the Holiday season is a great time to send a note or card.

Once patients leave their care, most inpatient OT, PT, Speech Therapists, and others never hear more. If you want to brighten their day send an email or physical note, or visit the rehab unit them how you're doing. They love to hear from their alumni and to celebrate the progress you've made.

A card or note is a simple, low cost gift for the Holiday (or really any) season.

Where do we go from here?

  • Check out Sentinel Healthcare's website to learn more about the product and solution 
  • Send a message to your rehab team and let them know how you're doing
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode
  • Don't get best…get better


Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 090 -- Get on Stage and Meet Donnie Boivin


2-Minute Tip: Get on Stage More


Ultimately, the most important way to get better as a speaker is to speak more. Find more stages and get on them. Reach out to local clubs and service organizations who are always looking for speakers in your community. Theses gigs may not pay anything, but especially when you're starting out as a professional speaker, you need to get in the stage time. And then you need repeat that. Get more stage time to refine your craft and develop your skills.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Success Coach Donnie Boivin


My conversation with Donnie covered a huge range of topics, including things like defining success, the power of having a podcast, and how to treat chickens with birth defects. What really comes through is the intense, joyful energy Donnie brings to everything that he does. It's a bit of a long episode because every time I thought about cutting something, that conversation would quickly veer into a delightful or fascinating area.


I think many of the things Donnie said will be bouncing around in my skull for some time to come.


On a slight tangent, Donnie mentions Napoleon Hill's book, Think and Grow Rich. It's also a book I heard come up on the Pure Mind Magic Podcast and the Cliff Ravenscraft Show on episodes I listened to over the past week. I think I heard it mentioned on another podcast, too. I guess that's the universe's way of telling me it's time to read it. To the library!

Donnie Boivin headshot

But back to Donnie



Donnie Boivin is a former Marine turned sales rep turned National Sales Trainer Turned speaker podcaster, and success coach. He challenges success minded people,  and entrepreneurs to tackle their fears and find success that they know is there.. His no-nonsense "Jarhead Gentle" style inspires people to take action and grow.  Combining his story with those of everyday people who have faced challenges in life, he helps audiences reach their goals.


He coaches speakers, entrepreneurs, and more to reach success however they define it. In his podcast, Donnie's Success Champions, he celebrates Ordinary People, Entrepreneurs, Veterans, First Responders, Business Owners and visionaries that have a story to tell. These champions are pure awesome plain and simple.




Donnie Boivin Website


Donnie on twitter


Donnie's Success Champions Podcast


Donnie's Success Champs Website


Donnie in Instagram


Donnie on Patreon


Chickens Chickens Chickens


Donnie's Success Champions on Facebook


Think and Grow Rich on Amazon



Call To Action


  • Be sure to check out donnieboivin.com to learn more about Donnie and how you can work with him. 
  • Share this episode with a colleague by telling them to go to http://2minutetalktips.com/donnie.
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Don't get best…get better.





Check out this episode!


Episode 042 -- Meet Dr. Dileep Yavagal

In Episode 035 back in October, I talk with Dr. Nirav Shah about the general state of stem cell therapy for stroke survivors. Afterwards, Nirav connected me with the lead researcher on the University of Miami's stem cell research team, Dr. Dileep Yavagal so I could talk to him about his research. That brings us to today's episode.

Dr. Yavagal specializes in vascular neurosurgery. That includes procedures like thrombectomy, where a doctor inserts a catheter into a blood vessel in the groin to go up into the brain a pull out the clot. Mechanical thrombectomy can be done up to 24 hours after stroke symptoms begin, and it can have a tremendous impact on minimizing the damage from an ischemic stroke.

What it doesn't do today is help patients recover from stroke. It means fewer brain cells die, but the dead and damaged ones don't get any help. When we say time is tissue or time is brain, this is why. Every minute that a clot blocks a vessel, more brain dies. To recover functionality today, we rely on neuroplasticity. PT, OT, Speech therapy, home exercises, eStim, SSRIs, acupuncture, and more therapies are all about encouraging the brain to rewire in such a way that we can work around that dead spot in our heads.

But what if there was another way?

That's the question stem cell therapy tries to answer.

Stem cells, as you may recall from my chat with Nirav, are cells that can become other cells. Embryonic stem cell are the ones we here about in the news, but not the ones used in the trials today. These are critical in embryos because those stem cells turn into all the other cells in our bodies -- nerves, muscle, brain, heart, left pinky, etc.

Adults have stem cells, too. The most common source is our bone marrow -- the soft tissue inside our bones where the body actually creates blood. Research is now looking at how we can use the stem cells to drive the growth of fresh neurons in the brain.

There are two major approaches in the research, today. The Stanford study demonstrated the safety of its procedure in a small study, but more work is being done to test the effectiveness. That process focused on chronic stroke survivors -- those several years post stroke. In that study, researches a hole in the skull to inject the patient's own stem cells into the damaged area. Results are preliminary, but promising.

Dr. Yavagal's work at the University of Miami is different in several ways. First, his work is focused on using stem cell therapy within the first day or two of the onset of symptoms. Secondly, his work relies on donor stem cells since the patient's own stem cells are not available in quantity right after the stroke. Third, his procedure involves delivering the cells to the brain through a catheter, similar to that used during thrombectomy or used to repair an aneurysm. His results are also quite prom, and he's preparing the next phase of study to move the science along and develop safe, effective treatments.

The key question we always ask is, "When will this therapy be available?"

The answer is we are not there today, despite the clinics popping up claiming to offer the therapy. However, it appears we are 2-3 years out if things go well, or potentially 4-5 years out if they don't.

In addition to his work with stem cells, Dr. Yavagal is also one of the leaders of the Thrombectomy 2020 program -- an international initiative to reach 202,000 thrombectomies a year by 2020 and to continue doubling after that. There are communities in the US and around the world where this therapy is simple not available, and yet it can be such an extremely powerful way of reducing the disability caused by stroke, saving hundreds of thousands of people from having to deal with the deficits of stroke and saving billions of dollars in healthcare and disability expenses. We'll talk more about Thrombectomy 2020 in a future episode.

Who is Dr. Dileep Yavagal?

Dr. Yavagal headshotDr. Dileep R. Yavagal, MD, FAHA, FAAN, FSVIN is the Director of Interventional Neurology and Co-Director of Neuroendovascular Surgery at the University of Miami & Jackson Memorial Hospitals and Clinical Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He has recently been appointed to lead the Neurological Cell Therapy Platform at the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University.

Dr. Yavagal is an international thought leader in endovascular therapy for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke as well as a pioneer in the translation of intra-arterial delivery of cell therapy for stroke. He was the national Co-PI of the first US multicenter clinical trial of Intra-arterial delivery of autologous bone marrow stem cells for ischemic stroke: RECOVER Stroke. He was on the on the steering committee of the SWIFT-Prime and MR RESCUE, both landmark randomized clinical trials of endovascular stroke therapy. He co-authored the landmark 2015 AHA Endovascular Stroke Therapy Guidelines as well as the recent groundbreaking DAWN stroke trial in the New England Journal of Medicine. He is the founder and Past-President of the Society for Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN). He has also co-authored the AHA Policy statement on Stroke Systems of Care.

Dr. Yavagal has received several state and federal research grants to study endovascular stem cell therapies for ischemic stroke using small and large animal models of stroke in his research laboratory. He is considered a pioneering researcher the field of intra-arterial delivery of stem cells in stroke therapy.

Hack of the Week

As we head into the gift giving season, we have to start thinking about how to wrap presents. Wrapping paper is great when you have 2 functional hands or you use some sort of gift-wrapping service. If you have just one functional hand, it can be more challenging. You can find videos on YouTube demonstrating one-handed techniques, but I prefer the simpler way.

Gift Bags!

Seriously, make it easy on yourself and uses theses fancy mini shopping bags. Add some tissue paper to the bag, put the gift in, the lightly crumble some more tissue paper to put on top. Then you're done. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can tie the handles together with ribbon.


Dileep Yavagal on Twitter


University of Miami Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute


University of Miami Department of Neurology


Stem Cells: A Breakthrough in Stroke Treatment?


SWIFT-Prime study


Thrombectomy 2020


Dr. Seth Finklestein


Stroke Episode 035 — Stem Cell Therapy and Stroke Recovery


Strokecast Episode 040 — Meet Dr. Kimberly Brown


Clinical Trials




Stanford Stem Cell Study Announcement


Where do we go from here?


Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 089 -- Practice in the Mirror and Meet Andrew "Mecha" Davis

2-Minute Tip: Practice in a Mirror


The key to success on stage is to practice as much as you can. Prep by using a mirror to give yourself an audience to impress. And often the person in the mirror is the toughest to impress.


Practice with your notes at first, and get good enough so you don't need them. Once you don't need your notes, that means you're protected against something going wrong. When it's time to

actually present, though, have your notes available to give yourself that extra little bit of confidence



Post Tip discussion: Meet Andrew "Mecha" Davis


PopAnimeComisc Lounge LogoAndrew "Mecha" Davis is a regular at anime cons around the country. He initially fell in love with the genre well before he was 10 years old and it stuck with him into adulthood. He's turned his passion for these multi-faceted Japanese cartoons into a series of presentations at fan conventions, a YouTube Channel, a podcast, a website, and the PopAnimeComics brand. Along the way he added interests in wrestling, comic book investing, Cos-players, and Funko Pops.


This week, Andrew and I talk about the genre of Anime and what it takes to construct a good presentation for a fan convention.


I think my favorite take away from the discussion is that if you want to speak at a con, the process is as "simple" as choosing a topic that appeals to you,. Build it out, and submit it according to the con's guidelines. The cons have a lot of presentation and panel slots to fill and are always looking for great content to fill time.


Not sure what you want to talk about? Make a list of things you love and geek out over. Then look at that list and figure out what 2 or 3 of them have in common. Now you have an idea that could make a good pane topic. Flesh out those common threads and pursue that opportunity to be on stage.


And when you get accepted (of course) do the work, do the prep, and do the practice to wow the audience.


And if the topic doesn't get accepted for whatever reason, try submitting it to another con. Or two. Or 3. Or more. Or turn all your work into a blog post, medium article, or YouTube video.


Do what it takes to share your passion with the world.




PopAnimeComics Website


PopAnimeComics on Facebook


PopAnimeComics on Twitter


PopAnimeComics Podcast on Apple Podcasts


PopAnimeComics on Instagram


PopAnimeComics on YouTube


Grave of the Fireflies


Outlaw Star


Gundam Wing




Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex


Catie Harris Episode


Anime Boston




Bill Maher on Stan Lee comments






Call To Action


  • Be sure to check out the various PopAnimeComics online properties in the links above
  • Share this episode with the anime fans in your life by sending them to http://2minutetalktips.com/popanimecomics
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode
  • Don't get best…get better



2-Minute Talk Tips is the public speaking podcast that help you become a more effective speaker in as little as 2 minutes a week.

Check out this episode!


Episode 041 -- Holiday Tips for Stroke Survivors

The Holiday season can be awesome. Or it can be stressful. Or it can be both. This week, I have 10 Holiday Tips for Stroke Survivors

Travel Tips:

  • Ship luggage on ahead
  • Request wheelchair assistance at the airport
  • Travel with prescriptions in their original bottle -- especially if you're travelling internationally.

Kitchen Tips:

  • Mise en place -- prep everything in advance and have everything in its place
  • Use adaptive gear like one-handed can openers and under the counter jar openers
  • Use paper based checklists for complex items and procedures

Friends, Family, and Social Tips

  • Be careful with alcohol -- drinking can make stroke deficits more prominent
  • Communicate your limits
  • Use gift wrapping services from Amazon or other retailers when you do your shopping

Finally, the big tip is:

  • Know your own limits. When fatigue hits, take a nap. When a crowd gets overwhelming, step away to a quiet place. Be good to yourself so you can enjoy the season.

And, of course, don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 088 --Thank Your Host and Tips for Speakers at During the Holidays

2-Minute Tip: Thank your Hosts


Putting together an event is a lot of work. Sometimes even putting together a short internal company meeting is a lot of work. Coordinating peoples' schedules and even finding an available conference room is way more complicated than it ought to be. So thank your host for inviting you. They took care of logistics and are giving you the audience's most valuable assets -- its time and attention.


So thank the host after the event. Send them a note letting them know you appreciate the work they've done. It may even make it more likely you'll be invited back. Everyone likes to be appreciated.


Post Tip Discussion: Tips for Speakers During the Holidays


It's the Holiday season in the US. We start with Thanksgiving on November 22 and goes through New Years Day on January 1. In the tech industry some folks would say it goes through January 11, 2019, when CES ends.


That means folks may be distracted either because they are so excited. Folks may be recharging with family and friends or dealing with family and friends. Folks may have different views of the Holidays from you due to their personal experience, or their politics, or their philosophy. Don't let differing views of the Holidays detract from your core message or call to action.


Travel may be more complicated. Airports and airplanes will be busier and fuller than normal. Many of the folks who are travelling do not travel regularly. They may not be as familiar or experienced with security and airport procedures as more frequent travelers.


Weather will also be a factor in delays and agitation in air travel this time of year.


So plan to allow extra time and bring lots of extra patience.


As you encounter children performing in pageants or skits during the Holidays, support them. Their experience with an audience now will impact how they feel about speaking and stage presence years into the future.


Finally, back in Episode 066, I spoke with Mario Porreca about gratitude, among other things. Thanksgiving week is a great time to start a  gratitude project. 


Start and end each day by writing down one thing you are grateful for. It doesn't have to be a big thing; the consistency is what matters.


After a month, you'll have a list of 60 things. At the end of a year, you'll have a list of more than 700 things.


This list then becomes a great source for talks, points and illustrations, bios, and job interview answers among other things. Plus its a great thing to look over when you're having a bad day.


Call To Action


  • Start a Gratitude List
  • Enjoy the Holidays that you celebrate
  • Have patience
  • Don't get best...get better

Check out this episode!


Episode 040 -- Meet Dr. Kimberly Brown

Dr. Kimberly Brown headshotAs stroke survivors, Emergency Room physicians play an important part in our survival and rapid treatment, but we often don't think about them. We build ongoing clinical relationships with our neurologists, physiatrists, OTs, PTs, Speech Therapists. Rehab nurses, CNAs, and more, but not the ER docs. When they see us, our brains are in full crisis/panic mode, our loved ones are terrified, and the doctors are busy making rapid assessments, decisions, and referrals. By the time we get a chance to calm down and assess our new landscape, they are long gone and have transitioned off our care team.

That's one reason I enjoyed talking with Dr. Kimberly Brown. It was a chance to get some insight into a field I knew little about. 

Among the things I found interesting was how she talk about the impact of technology in medical education -- listening to a heart murmur on the computer during school work and later tying that into the real world in listening on an actual patient.

We also talk about the role of ER Pharmacists, the role Methodist University Hospital has had in treating folks with the clot busting drug tPA, and some of the challenges around public health.

We do have some discussion of the politics of healthcare in this episode. Regardless of how you feel about the Affordable Care Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the future of Medicare and Medicaid, the political decisions around these programs will directly affect the lives of millions of stroke survivors and potential survivors in the US, and it's important to be aware of what's going on and express your views to your elected officials.

We reference the FAST signs for stroke. If you're not familiar with them they are:

Stroke warning signs: Face, Arms, Speech, and Time


We also talk about sepsis or being septic. Sepsis can be the result of the body's attempt to fight an infection. Basically, the infection results in the body dumping an excess of chemicals into the blood stream to fight the infection, but it instead leads to inflammation in other organs. Symptoms of sepsis can sometimes mirror stroke. Sepsis is a life threatening condition.

Fortunately whether you come into the ER with Sepsis or Stroke, folks like Dr. Kimberly Brown are there to take care of you.

Dr, Kimberly Brown working on a laptop at a cafe

Dr. Kimberly Brown is an emergency physician in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her undergraduate degree from Fisk University. Loving warmer weather, Dr. Brown earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Florida in Public Health Management and Policy. She attended Ross University School of Medicine and recently completed her emergency medicine residency as a member of the inaugural graduating class of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Brown’s clinical interests include neurologic emergencies, critical care, sepsis, and education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, volunteering, watching too much reality tv and trying new restaurants.

Improving Care in the Stroke Belt

Dr. Brown serves patients in the Stroke Belt of the US. This is the region of the country that since the early 60s has had a significantly higher about of stroke patients and higher mortality from stroke than the rest of the country. It includes:

  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas
  1. Making sure all patients have access to coverage
  2. Decrease food desserts
  3. Programs to incentive physicians to go to under-served communities in Appalachia and urban centers to ensure access to care
  4. Make sure schools are good so kids can read and understand their health
  5. Medical professionals have to do a better job at educating patients about how their body works and what's going on with it.


Hack of the Week

When you arrive at the ER, especially as a previous stroke survivor or person with disabilities. It's important to provide the team with as much information as possible. The need to know about the medications (legal AND illegal) you are taking, any previous stroke or medical issues, what disabilities you already had, and more.

Any video or recent photos of you prior to this incident can also be extremely helpful to the staff so they can get a better sense of what's changed.

Every Branch and Leaf -- National Caregivers Month

November is National Caregivers Month. These people make a huge difference in our lives, and it's important to recognize and thank them for their support. One way to support caregivers is to read Dr. Kate Lorig's book "Building Better Caregivers." I talked with the author back in episode 19 at http://strokecast.com/kate.

Larry Benitez is one of my colleagues from a professional networking group. He's also a banjo player who volunteers at the Old Friends Club in the Seattle area. The Old Friends Club support folks with Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Larry recently recorded a song dedicated to care givers. You can learn more about it here. Or just watch the video below. Be sure to comment on and like the video over on YouTube, too.



Dr. Kimberly Brown's Website


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Email


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Facebook


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Instagram


Dr. Kimberly Brown's Twitter


Chronicles of Women in White Coats


Methodist University Hospital Emergency Medicine


Stroke belt on Wikipedia


Sepsis on Wikipedia


FAST from the American Heart Association


Strokecast Episode 19: Meet Dr. Kate Lorig


Old Friends Club


Larry's Song on YouTube


Larry's post on LinkedIn



Where do we go from here?

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 087 -- Choose Your Headline and Meet Scott Charlston

2-Minute Tip: Choose Your Headline


As you frame your talk, make sure you choose the headline for it.  Flip through a newspaper or magazine and look at the headlines. Their job is to give you a little bit of information in a way that is compelling enough that you want to read more. They have to be short. They can be funny, But when you define the headlines for your talk, you also need it to get people to come see you and give you their time.


Think about your headline as the kind of thing that might be the subject line of an email or go on a poster advertising your talk. If you already know your goal for the talk and what you want people to take away from your talk, you should be able to develop the headline easily. If you can't, then maybe your talk isn't quite ready yet and you need to review your goals again.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Scott Charlston


Scott Charlston HeadshotI first met Scott through a professional job hunting workshop where we are both looking for our next adventures. If you're looking for a great PR or media relations expert, reach out to Scott. If you're looking for a corporate trainer, product evangelist, or podcaster, just email bill@2minutetalktips.com.


In this episode, you'll hear about just what it is PR professionals do and the things they work on while doing media training. While there's an obvious surface level overlap between public speaking, ultimately it goes deeper. The core themes of defining and knowing your message, understanding your audience, and telling compelling stories that I talk about all the time on this show are also the core elements that Scott focuses on in his work with executives and media relations teams.


Scott spent 6 years as a reporter and anchor at Spokane's KREM TV before moving into PR for nearly 20 years with Weber Shandwick and Verizon Wireless. He's done media training, media relations, executive coaching and even more -- all with a focus on putting people at the center of the story, distilling complex ideas into clear benefits.




Call To Action:

  • What are your thoughts on this chat and PR? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Share this episode with a friend, colleague, relative, reporter, or PR Specialist. Just give them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/scott
  • Subscribe to 2-Minute Talk Tips for free in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Check out this episode!


Episode 039 -- The FLAME Study: How Anti-depressants (SSRI) help Stroke Recovery

This week, Dr. Nirav Shah and I talk about antidepressants -- SSRIs specifically -- in Stroke Recovery. The FLAME study demonstrated the benefits to motor recovery.

SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. Basically, the way data gets sent from one nerve cell to another is through the use of chemicals, like serotonin. The body produce serotonin and the collects it when done, taking it out of the system. An SSRI slows down the collection process -- it inhibits the re-uptake. That leaves more serotonin floating around the brain.

Having more serotonin floating around the brain can help reduce, manage, or eliminate depression and other conditions. That's why SSRIs are some of the most common anti-depressants on the market.

The FLAME study looked at how Fluoxetine (AKA Prozac) behaves in folks who recently had a stroke. Fluoxetine is an old school antidepressant and SSRI. The study appeared to show that the extra serotonin in the brain may help promote neuroplasticity and recovery of motor skills after stroke, and that's why we're talking about it today.

My Experience

When I was inpatient, the doctor put me on an SSRI due to the FLAME study. She tried Prozac (AKA Fluoxetine) first. Unfortunately, it gave me an anxiety attack. On the other hand, I now know what an anxiety attack feels like. Not pleasant.

A Xanax took care of that.

We tried again the next day, this time with another SSRI called Lexapro (AKA Escitalopram). Someone explained to me that the molecule that makes up Lexapro is the mirror image of the Prozac molecule. I'd had Lexapro in the past, with no ill effects so it was worth a shot. Success! No anxiety attack this time. And that's how an SSRI earned a spot in my daily collection of medication.

But did it help my recovery? Maybe. There's no way to tell for sure. The data indicates that it should and there is no reason to think it didn't help. As a side effect, I did not go into the deep depression so common among other stroke survivors.

This is a new use for SSRIs, Fluoxetine, and Escitalopram. It's borderline off-label. Not all doctors are familiar with the idea that SSRIs promote the neuroplasticity that supports recovery of motor functions. And that's how I ended up explaining the research to my primary care physician as he reviewed my meds with me post-hospital.

The FLAME study covered 6 months. I'm still taking the Lexapro today. When I talked to my rehab doctor about whether I should continue we concluded that since I don't have any negative results from it, we may as well keep it up. If there's a chance it can help, and it's not hurting, then that sounds good to me.

Dr. Nirav H. Shah

Dr. Nirav H Shah Headshot

Dr. Nirav H. Shah is a fellowship trained neurologist and sub-specialist in cerebrovascular and stroke medicine with board certifications in t: neurology, stroke medicine, carotid neurosonology, transcranial doppler ultrasound, and neuroimaging.

He is a practicing neurohospitalist and served as the stroke medical director at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Academically, he is interested in emergent and critical care neurology research and is an associate editor for The Neurohospitalist, a peer-reviewed journal. He enjoys mentoring trainees and collaborating on publications and conference presentations.

Outside of clinical care Dr Shah is collaborating with experts to develop scalable technologies capable of ameliorating healthcare’s challenges. He consults with startups and investors to develop technologies and devices so that one day they are available to his patients. He has worked with companies to meet FDA regulations for approval as well as to help them understand the provider perspective of product-market fit.

Dr. Shah is also the CEO and Founder of Sentinel Healthcare. He is also a passionate traveler and photographer.

So let's fan the FLAME of stroke recovery with Nirav.

Hack of the Week

Daily pill organizer with one door openMany stroke survivors use a day of the week pill organizer to keep track of meds. And, sometimes, the day of the week. The organizer can also make it easy to keep track of whether or not we've taken pills for the day.

After taking your pills, leave the door for that day open exposing the now empty chamber. That gives you and your caregiver an easy to see visual queue the deed is done.



FLAME study Presentation


Efficacy of Fluoxetine - a Trial in Stroke (EFFECTS)


Predicting recovery in acute poststroke aphasia


Nirav’s previous appearance


Nirav on Stem Cells and Stroke Recovery


Nirav  on LinkedIn


Nirav at Swedish


Nirav on Twitter


The Neurohospitalist


Nirav’s Photography


Sentinel Healthcare


Where do we go from here?

  • Check out the links to the FLAME study and the other SSRI stroke studies above.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app.
  • Use your pill box door as a reminder/calendar.
  • Don't get best…get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast