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Author: Mike Brown

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Welcome to Adaptdefy®. Here you'll meet people who have learnt to adapt to intense physical and psychological challenges, and defy what they, and those around them, thought was possible.

We'll dive into the tools and equipment they use, and the mindset that allows them to succeed and find freedom. This is a podcast to strengthen the adaptive community and increase freedom for everyone. It's a podcast for Adaptdefiers, and those who want to become one.

Hosted by paraplegic Mike Brown all the way from New Zealand.
45 Episodes
Gem Hubbard is arguably one of the top Disability Lifestyle Creators in the UK with an international following for her “Wheels No Heels” channels. A medical mishap while a young girl left Gem fighting for her life in ICU. Waking from the induced coma, she was told that she was now paralyzed from the waist down.  The transition to being a wheelchair user was rough physically and mentally and at one point Gem wanted to end it all. Lucky she didn't because her Youtube videos educate and entertain millions on how to life a fulfilling life as a wheelchair user. More importantly perhaps, her content highlights important changes needed to make our world more inclusive and accessible.  In the podcast we discuss: The early days of her recovery What it took to find her tribe How she overcame depression and found her passion Love and relationships Being a parent as a wheelchair user Content creation and the business of vlogging Wheelchair travel  Disability advocacy  To learn more and for links to Gem's content go to
Sophie Elwes is an international para athlete, peer mentor, adventurer and media producer. Given a 40% chance of surviving after a huge fall from a balcony, Sophie has built a life filled with excitement, adventure, service and love. In this episode we dive deep into self identity and what it took to pack up and leave the support of her family to travel the world. We discuss how she came to represent Great Britain in adaptive skiing and waterskiing, how she shaped her career, and how she overcame all the physical and mental hurdles along the way. Check it out! 
Megan Blunk is a gold medal winning paraplegic wheelchair basketball star that speaks openly about her struggle with severe depression. This was one of those podcasts that went DEEP straight away. Megan is courageous, talented and determined to make a better life for herself and others who struggle with their mental health.  If you or someone you know is feeling stuck in their life, be sure to check this out! More details and links are available at https://adaptdefy,com/podcasts
Ben Clark, dove into the sea “Baywatch style” and discovered it was shallower than he expected. The impact broke his neck, resulting in paralysis from the chest down. Drawing on 10 years of experience as a professional swimmer, he was determined to get through his recovery with physical and mental strength.  In this interview we explore an impressive range of topics, including: Self identity Mental health Happiness Falling in love with the process Post success depression Starting a youtube channel Being a coach in a wheelchair Prehab and not getting injured Sticking to exercises Smart goals Travel as a quadriplegic Dating Through his social media channels, Ben aims to, “adapt workouts, nutrition, advice, motivation for any and all situations” so that working out and staying fit is accessible for all.  I just love one of his favourite sayings, "There’s no path to happiness,  happiness is the path."  You can learn more about Ben and get his social media links at
South African paraplegic Alwyn Uys is a professional triathlete, entrepreneur and motivational speaker who knows how to train hard, focus his mind and achieve his goals. In this episode we unpack the accident that left him a wheelchair user, his daily routine, fitness hacks, and goals for the future. 
Brandon Winfield is the founder of iaccesslife, a mobile app that allows people with disabilities to rate and review the accessibility of venues such as restaurants, lounges, clubs, and bars. Paralysed at 14 years old he's had a rough ride. He meditates daily, and has worked on his mindset to shape the confident and successful man he is today. Check this out. 
Robyn Lambird caught our attention with her wildly interesting fashion images on instagram. Born in the UK with Cerebral Palsy, she emigrated with her parents to Australia where she immersed herself into sport. Never afraid of being herself, she is disabled, queer and proud! Oh, and she's a talented international athlete, social media influencer and style aficionado. Check it out! For full links go to
Kirk Williams is a photographer, van conductor, drone expert, marshmallow cooker, mental mechanic, and active quadriplegic after a routine mountain bike accident left him with a C5 burst fracture. Discovering access issues while travelling in South America he vowed to return, but this time in a custom van which has given him the ultimate freedom. In this episode we talk about the van and what modifications he's made, his road to recovery, his mental fortitude and advice, and how Covid-19 has affected his plans. Check it out! Follow Kirk's adventures at:
At 20 years-old, Peruvian born Marcela Marañon survived a fatal car accident that killed her boyfriend. She was left paralyzed and with a lower leg amputated. Living in the USA at the time and barely able to speak English she faced an ordeal of epic proportions. In this podcast we talk about how she managed to climb out of a deep hole and into a life of freedom, independence and travel. Marcela has a deep drive to change the world of disability and accessibility through her Journey of a Brave Women brand and large social media profile. 
Quadriplegic Alvaro Silverstein is the founder of Wheel The World, an adventure travel company helping to redefine adventure tourism for people with disabilities. We talk about growing up in Santiago Chile and the accident that left him with a broken neck. What helped him during his recovery, his life hacks, and how he came to start a world leading adventure travel company that offers accessible travel experiences in over 40 countries.
Jesi Stracham is a former ATV racing party animal, who powers through life as a paraplegic due to a solid foundation of goals, exercise, community and entrepreneurship. This episode is chock full of lifehacks and lifestyle design tips, and is not to be missed for those who are struggling to make headway in life or are looking to up their game. Tune in!  Key topics include: Starting the Wheel With Me Foundation How to set meaningful goals How to get on top of your mental health How to stay fit as a paraplegic How to do the Tough Mudder Race as a paraplegic How to find the opportunity within obstacles
There was a crowd around Andrew Skinner at the Abilities Expo in Los Angeles. He and the Triumph Foundation which he co-founded have made such an impact on peoples' lives that everyone wanted to see him. During this podcast interview it was easy to see why. Andrew broke his neck while on vacation at a ski lodge and even though his injury was in 2004, he still calls himself a recovering C6 quadriplegic. Combining determination, empathy and a willingness to put others before himself, Andrew has helped build an organisation and community that goes above and beyond to help others triumph after disaster.  In this episode we explore: Relationships and love after a spinal cord injury The importance of peer support Goal setting Mental health Being a rock star Starting a charity Living a life of purpose
There aren’t many people with a goal to live to 109 years old, but Benveet Gill (Bean for short) has her sights firmly set on this and other lofty goals. Struck down by Transverse Myelitis and paralyzed from the waist down while on vacation with her friends when she was 30, Bean turned the worst moment in her life into an opportunity to work on her mental health, build a thriving rehabilitation business, and help change healthcare and services for the disabled in Canada. Key learnings and tips and tricks from this podcast include: Managing your mental health Dating Job interviews when you're disabled How to stay fit Choosing the right partner in business Navigating cultural stigmas How to stay focussed on a goal How to change the system
Jeremy McGhee is one tough dude. He's pushed his paraplegic body to breaking point in the mountains, in the surf, and in the gym, and is now on a mission to document the world's mountain bike tracks for adaptive riders, through his organisation The UNpavement. This is a must listen episode if you love outdoor adventure and biking. Check it! 
What do you get when you combine skate, BMX and motocross culture with a fiery redhead who was born with Cerebral Palsy? You get Katherine Beattie, the first women to do a backflip in a wheelchair and also an award winning Hollywood writer. These talents combined with an infectious personality have allowed Katherine to help change the way people view disability. Don't miss this episode!
It's unbelievable that Richard Corbett is still alive. A 50 foot fall into an underground parking lot didn't kill him, but an addiction to pain medication and a mental breakdown,  nearly did. Finding his way out of the darkest of places, Richard is a now world class YouTube video producer making informative how to videos for newly injured wheelchair users. 
Teal Sherer is an award winning actress, who also happens to be a wheelchair user after a car accident left her a paraplegic when she was 14 years old. Teal shares her tips for being an actor as a wheelchair user, her thoughts for how society views wheelchair users and hr role in educating the public on what really goes on. Check it out. 
Brooklyn might be considered the hood, but to Garrison Redd it has always been and always will be home. Even after the self-proclaimed authentic Brooklynite was shot in the back just steps away from his childhood home. An immensely physical and intelligent teenager, his life was thrown into turmoil as he lay in the hospital bed, learning he would never be able to walk again. But wise words from one of his doctors: “you might not be able to play football, but you can still coach,” soon changed his entire perspective. Now a model, a Paralympic powerlifter, public speaker and the founder of the Garrison Redd Project, an organisation that runs adaptive programs for people with spinal cord injuries, there’s almost no stopping Garrison from achieving his goal. All that’s left is to become the mayor of New York City.
Paralyzed in a car accident at age 13, Reveca thought her dreams of a career in art and fashion were over, but rolling in the footsteps of Mexican legend Frida Kahlo, Reveca has forged a career in the arts and is a pivotal figure in the disability rights movement in Chicago. She is the co-Director of ReelAbilities Film Festival, founder of Backbones and uses painting, illustration, photography, film, movement, and other media as a tool for advocacy and social justice. 
Martyn is a man on a mission. A mission to make our society a more inclusive place to live.  He's had to overcome major spinal fusion surgery, fundraise for vital mobility equipment, manage strangers to do his personal care, fight bouts of pneumonia, struggle through inaccessible housing, experience weird societal stereotypes, and many other barriers. He is the co-founder of Disability Horizons, a published author, podcast host, adventurer, government, business & charity adviser, and entrepreneur. He co-founded Accomable which was later acquired by Air BnB and is on a mission to travel and adventure to as many places on the planet as he can. He's a self confessed smiler with Spinal Muscular Atrophy . 
Comments (1)

Dorje Mckinnon

awesome interview. Bruno thanks for sharing your story and experience with Mike , come down to New Zealand for a surf.

Jan 28th
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