Jason Da Silva: Imitating Life
Jason Da Silva was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when he was just 25 years old. Jason is a filmmaker and was enjoying making documentaries and traveling the world prior to being diagnosed. Although, he has had to learn to make adjustments to continue pursuing his passion, he has not given up. Since being diagnosed, he has turned the camera on himself to allow viewers to get a glimpse into his daily life. His documentaries are stories that show triumph over tragedy.
Jason is now married, has a child and continues to pursue his dreams. He has also created an app called axsmap to help people who are handicapped navigate the world around them.
In this episode with Jason, he provides encouraging messages to people going through difficulties. He says, “I think the biggest thing is that people should, if they are going through a challenge, big or small be it MS or otherwise, just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel…” Jason is truly an inspiration.
Japanese-American Internment Camps: Fighting for Justice
We have all heard the stories of the Nazi internment camps during World War II however, what most of us don’t remember, is that right here in America after Pearl Harbor, the United States Government ordered the internment of over 110,000 people of Japanese heritage. Sixty-two percent of the internees were American citizens.
In this episode, we meet with Mitsue Salador, an internee at the time. She was only a college freshman and because of the executive order, was unable to return home to be with her parents during such a frightening time. Mitsue shares with us that during the relocation, her brother was in the US Army and regardless of their efforts to be “good Americans” as their parents advised, the relocation was inevitable. We also meet with Robert Machida who shares his story of his aunt, Margaret Suda who had been interned.
It is important as Americans to join in listening to their story so we don’t repeat the mistakes of our past.
Manny Silberman: For All Ages
When you think of Lego’s, who comes to mind? Likely, most of us would think of young children, but for 97 year old Manny Silberman, Lego’s are a part of his daily life.
In this episode, we meet Manny Silberman who shares his life story and where and why his joy of Lego’s emerged. He also shows us some of the things he has built over the last few years. Manny tells us how Lego’s have helped him pass his time rather than just watching television or falling asleep in an easy chair like other men his age. We will also talk with his daughter Lynda Levy, who tells us how Manny’s love of building with Lego’s has been beneficial to him.
Hospice & Families: Giving Care
Carol Steger lost her husband, Gerald to Leukemia. Carol and her daughter, Tracy Ressa share their perspective on how Hospice helped their family by providing them with palliative and supportive care. Carol also shares that through Hospice, she was able to keep her promise to her husband that he would not pass in a hospital. Hospice was able to provide a homey place for Gerald and his family to spend time together. Hospice also provided psychologists and support groups to help the family deal with their grief. These support groups helped Carol to realize that she is not alone and many others are dealing with the same grief of losing a loved one.
Sidiki Conde Update: Rhythm of the Soul
We met with Sidiki Conde back in 2011 where he shared his story of his childhood in West Africa and how as a child, he suddenly and inexplicably lost the use of his legs. Despite such a life altering challenge, he is an accomplished dancer, singer, musician and songwriter.
Sidiki is an amazing person. His smile and bright outlook on life is contagious. He refuses to be labeled by his disability.
On this episode, Sidiki is joined by Susan Russo, the executive director of the Theresa Academy of Performing Arts for children with Special Needs. Sidiki is currently working at the Academy as a teacher of the performing arts. He helps to build the student’s self-confidence and self-esteem through example. He is able to show the children that they should be proud of what they can do and not to linger on the things they cannot.
He is also working to raise funds to build a school back in his hometown. Children do not have a lot of opportunities where he is from and are often subjected to begging in the streets. He hopes the school will be able to provide the children with better opportunities for them and their family.