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Jonathon Sams is no stranger to fighting adversity in his life. When he was 14 he was diagnosed with cancer the first time, then again when he was 39, and for a third time in the spring of 2022. He is a loving husband and father of 4 who sees overcoming cancer as one of his many roles in life. Now, after 3 battles with the disease, he is in a position where he can help others with fear when facing cancer treatment or any big life obstacle. His positive outlook is infectious and also just a choice he makes every day to make that day, awesome. During his last treatment in May 2022 at the University of Cincinnati Medical center, Jonathon got the idea while walking the hospital hallways to go a mile. The distance kept increasing until he decided to take on a marathon distance. With an IV still attached and friends supporting him all over the country, Jonathon walked that marathon (check out the local news footage here). He says it was a “a marathon of purpose” and a tribute to the staff at UC Medical and elsewhere who walk marathons every day, making every day worthwhile. Listen to the podcast to learn more about Jonathon’s journey, his beautiful approach to every day and how he and his family are prepared for that next life challenge that comes their way. You can also view the interview on Youtube -  https://youtu.be/IJqqGta9xys.
Chris Norton’s story and the person he is today truly define inspiration. You can find details of his journey from many sources including NBC NEWS, People Magazine, or the film made about his achievements titled, “7 Yards” (on Netflix). In 2010, Chris suffered a debilitating spinal cord injury while playing football for Luther College his freshman year. Paralyzed from the neck down, he was given just a three percent chance of recovery. Not one to back down from a challenge, Chris chose to fight and slowly regained feeling in his limbs and then made walking again his new goal. Just 5 years later, after many years off therapy and efforts to regain his strength, he walked across the stage to accept his college diploma with the help of his fiancé Emily. He followed this walk with a 7 yard walk down the aisle to wed Emily in 2018. Since then, 8 kids have been added to their family and Chris is now a motivational speaker, traveling the world helping others deal with adversity. Listen in as Matt and Chris talk more about his story, the work his does now, his faith, and the foundation started in his name. If you’d like to learn more about Chris, the foundation or the true definition of inspiration, please visit their website - https://chrisnorton.org You can view the video version of this episode here.
Staying strong through a crisis is never easy. To endure and get to the other side of not one, but many hurdles, takes perseverance and the ability to lean on a solid foundation of character. For Dan deStefano, his strong upbringing where virtues where instilled by parents, friends, and the neighborhood and where a relationship with God was always part of the picture, he managed to sustain a series of hits and land in a better spot.  Dan is Co-Owner of West Chester Hardwood Flooring, Partner/Owner at DeStefano Brothers Remodeling, and President of DeStefano Homes and leads sales, marketing, and business operations and development. He is married with 3 kids and has created a life where he has learned to balance his demands, nurture his faith, and find fulfillment in helping and being a man for others. Dan and Matt’s life-long friendship lays the groundwork for the sharing of old stories, new lessons, and how gratitude is leading the way. Listen here or check out the video version of the interview here -  https://youtu.be/ZHJD6Snrqqw
After graduation from college, Susan Fulton was searching, as many of us do, for purpose and a path to follow. While her faith had always been part of her life and been a foundation, it did not necessarily provide a light. She was a perfectionist in which fulfillment came more from order and control. But shortly into her marriage to Rich, she turned over control to God and allowed her faith to become more than just a spoke in the wheel, but rather the steering wheel. With this change, came more joy and purpose, but the challenges were just beginning. Susan and Rich endured a laborious time while starting their family of finding how their faith would lead them as a couple and how their career fit into the puzzle. New England Urban Church Planting landed in the Fulton path and has provided those answers and been a workplace for both Susan and Rich. Since joining, Susan has been able to shepherd many in the church as the Director of Coaching and Care and outside the church with own coaching business, Susan Fulton Life Coaching. Her patience, strength, ability to listen and incredibly kind and generous nature invite the Holy Spirit into many conversations while working to assist women going through major life challenges and transitions. Matt and Susan also talk through how gratitude can help our journey as we step through challenges such as being a caregiver for aging parents. Susan, and her 6 brothers and sisters, all work together to support and care compassionately for their mother and father as they battle dementia and various ailments. It is not something that can be done alone and Susan’s suggestions will help anyone looking for more answers on how to navigate the role of caregiver. Enjoy Susan’s story and contact her through her website if you are interested in her life coaching services. For the video version of the interview, click here.
Nate Forrestel makes a decision everyday that he is going to find a way to inspire others. He does this as a content creator and a social media influencer on TikTok and Instagram for his growing audience of 36,000 followers. What makes Nate’s videos so unique is that he is a golfer who plays with cerebral palsy, a condition that was so severe at birth, that doctors expected he would only survive for 72 hours. Nathan beat the odds and continues to thrive today. As he hit his teen years, Nate realized his sport choices were limited. He found golf and the love affair began. After a few of Nate’s shots were posted from the golf course on Instagram, the views started piling up as people saw what he could do despite playing with a disability. He included inspirational messages with his posts that have resonated with many and boosted his following, especially with those who are also challenged with a disability. One of his favorite followers is Buffalo Bills QB, Josh Allen, who he connected with through their mutual partner, Team OnCore. Nate is an avid fan of Josh and the Bills and recently added a live stream of his reactions and commentary during the Bills games. Enjoy this treat as Matt and Nate talk in more detail about Nate’s path and his love for golf and the Buffalo Bills. You can also view the video of the interview here - https://youtu.be/p5Nw_IxbWXE
Dr. Eben Alexander spent over 25 years as an academic neurosurgeon, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, the Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. In 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander suffered a bacterial infection that put him a week–long coma in which his brain should have been severely damaged. His story of recovery from the near-death experience (NDE) was featured in his first book, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife (2012), which debuted at #1 and spent a year on the New York Times Bestseller list. Since the book was released, he has been interviewed over 400 times including appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, Super Soul Sunday with Oprah Winfrey, ABC-TV’s 20-20, Good Morning America, and FOX-TV’s FOX & Friends. His story was also featured on the Discovery Channel and the Biography Channel. In 2014, he released his second book, The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion and Ordinary People are Proving the Afterlife . In 2017,  his 3rd book was released on the subject of consciousness and reality, Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness, co-authored with Karen Newell. Karen Newell is an author, specialist in personal development and an innovator in the emerging field of brainwave and audio meditation. She empowers others in their journeys of self discovery by demonstrating how to connect to inner guidance, achieve inspiration, improve wellness and achieve intuition. She is the co-creator of Sacred Acoustics which develops and distributes innovative NeuralHelix brainwave entrainment audio recordings with binaural beats for meditation and personal growth. In addition to Dr. Alexander’s work to share his insights from his NDE and what they teach about consciousness, he and Karen now regularly lead workshops and teach others ways to tap into our greater mind and the power of the heart to facilitate enhancement of healing, relationships, creativity, guidance, and more. Enjoy this interview on your favorite streaming platform or you can view on YouTube.
Kate McKay is a high-energy, results oriented success coach, business consultant, transformational speaker, best-selling author, executive entrepreneur, and ACE Certified Fitness & Health Coach. Her natural energy is contagious and no matter how you are feeling at this moment, this interview will lift you up. Kate’s wisdom and ability to help others comes from many lessons she has learned from climbing through her own obstacles, including the loss of her son Will in 2017. She shares many of these insights on her podcast, Survive to Thrive, and in her books including the recently released, Claim Your Inner Warrior. You can also learn more about Kate on her website, kate-mckay.com as well as many TV and radio interviews. Kate has described herself as a “survivor, thriver, life-lover, and hope seeker” and these qualities emanate from her being. Listen to see how she is helping so many create financial and emotional wealth,  physical well-being, and overcome those big life hurdles. You can also view this interview on YouTube here - https://youtu.be/JRvZPuAa06o
Rodney Blunt’s mission every day is to help others. His foundation, City Streets to Students Athletes (CS2SA), focuses on deterring student athletes from drugs and crime. As a former running back at Clemson from 1989-1993 (he led the Tigers in rushing and touchdowns in 1991 and 1993), Rodney saw first hand the many temptations and challenges of being a student athlete. He then spent 18 years in law enforcement and saw how destructive drugs can be and decided this would be his focus area. His organization has a strategic methodology to help student athletes understand the temptations of drugs, peer pressure and the consequences of bad choices. Rodney is an energetic speaker who is planting seeds in every kid he meets in an effort to make them aware of their potential and develop character. CS2SA has touched the lives of over 10,000 families and manages accountability through their drug-free pledge. Listen to this inspiring interview as Rodney explains how he is making a difference and blessing the lives of so many others. You can also view the interview on YouTube here.
Author and podcast host Mary Marantz recognizes the beauty in her story and the gifts it has provided. But like many of us, it took time for her to see that beauty especially because she saw it as so different than what the “norm” is. Her journey starts modestly from her family’s trailer in West Virginia where she learned life lessons from her father, dealt with an absent working mother, and found blessings in her relationships with her grandmother as well as the occasional stray cat. She found a place excelling in the classroom and her brightness led her all the way to Yale Law School. As Mary traveled and explored the world outside of West Virginia, her experiences nourished her strong roots and helped her blossom into the resource she is today for so many others. She shares her wisdom on her podcast (The Mary Marantz Show which debuted in the iTunes top 200) and in her 2 books Dirt and the newly released Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots: Finding Grace, Freedom, and Purpose in an Overachieving World. Her writing has also been featured in many other publications, including Business Insider, Thrive Global, MSN, Bustle, and Brit+Co. Join Matt and listen in to insightful conversation about finding your path through faith and trusting your inner voice. You can also view the interview on YouTube here. 
Pat Sqroi is the President of Sgroi Financial, a firm started by his father Joe. The family business has grown significantly over its 50 plus years and helps countless families with their financial planning needs. Along the way, Pat has managed his way through plenty of obstacles but none perhaps more challenging than the loss of his brother, Jeff, to an aggressive skin cancer in 2016 followed by the loss of his father in 2017. Since Jeff’s passing, Pat helps honor his brother through the Jeff Michael Sgroi Foundation. One of the signature events of the foundation is a memorial golf tournament that occurs each year to raise money for many of Jeff’s favorite charities, including St. Francis High which has a baseball field named in Jeff’s honor. Listen to this heart-warming story of how Pat continues honor his brother and father in so many wonderful ways. You can also view the interview on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtqaxjCshPI 
God’s plan for all of us is sometimes hard to see, but there is usually a purpose, no matter the journey traveled. China Darrington’s road started with obstacles many can hardly imagine. At a young age, some of her challenges included substance abuse, mental health issues, and human trafficking. After a 20 year battle, she entered recovery while pregnant and began rebuilding her story and her purpose. Her amazing strength and resilience helped her land at a place where she now helps others as the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at Thrive Peer Recovery Services in Ohio. She has designed and implemented comprehensive recovery support service programs that help organizations with ensuring the right treatments are provided. The problem of human trafficking is likely larger than most are aware (over 25 million people worldwide have been deprived of their freedoms) and this interview with China creates awareness and understanding about sex trafficking and what we can do. Her strong voice, empathy and powerful spirit are making a difference in so many lives. Listen here to learn more or you view the view this wonderful interview with Matt on youtube.
Adversity comes in many forms. We all have or will face an obstacle that seems daunting and overwhelming. Finding and developing the tools to cope sometimes takes a crisis for that needed strength to arrive. For Michael Merrgian, his adversity showed up on October 7, 2018 when he was struck by a car that nearly took his life. Shortly after being admitted in what would be a long hospital stay, Michael learned that doctors were unable to save his leg and he went home as an amputee. Rebuilding his life would not be easy, but the love and support from his family, friends, and his community all helped propel him forward and uncover his true strength. At first, the list of all things he couldn’t do raced through his mind. But over time, he began to create a list of all things he COULD still do. Listen in to Michael’s great message of how his positive spirit, perseverance, courage, resilience and strong faith have helped get to a place where he is now helping other people deal with their hurdles. He also is working on a book to share more of his story and his lessons learned. If you would like to see the video version of this podcast, view it here on YouTube.
Wayne Box Miller is an award winning media professional, communications veteran and diversity consultant. He is also the pre-game and post-game host for the Cincinnati Bengals Radio Network, an author, and currently serving as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. Wayne’s philosophy is simple and effective, and sometimes is as easy as just saying “hello.” In his work with the Cincinnati Bengals, he also sees how sports can remove walls and connect people when they come together to rally for their favorite team. Wayne has also shared his wisdom on stage as a motivation speaker, as an activist, and the author of several books including From the Soul of a Man, The Power of Love, and his newest You Wake Up You Win – Developing a Winning Attitude in the Face of Adversity. Listen in to this entertaining conversation with Wayne as he shares many more stories and many of his guiding principles. You can also view the interview here on YouTube -https://youtu.be/Klt8b9X8IHQ 
An unexpected illness has many effects, physically and mentally, on a patient and on loved ones who surround that patient. When kidney cancer came around for a 2nd fight in 2018 with Matt, he went searching for ways to cope. One of the most common attributes he found with those who were successfully fighting a disease or some type of adversity in their life, was gratitude. The gratitude stories inspired Matt to begin his own gratitude practice and to learn more about caring for what Dr. Roy Vongtama’s calls the four houses of health – the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual houses. Feeding, balancing and connecting these 4 houses has made a significant difference in Matt’s recovery journey, but as you might expect, there is more work to do. March is once again Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, bringing attention to the 68,000 new kidney cancer cases and 14,000 deaths that will hit in the United States alone this year, making it the 6th most common cancer among men. Listen in as Matt reviews his journey and the many lessons he has learned from the support that has surrounded him (you can also watch on YouTube here). His uplifting message about finding positivity and awesomeness in every day is inspiring and drives his mission to help others fighting kidney cancer. To get behind Matt and the charge he is leading to bring more attention and funding to kidney cancer research, please visit Matt’s Kidney Cancer Fundraising page below. On behalf of Matt’s family and all those battling, many thanks for your support and generosity. Support Kidney Cancer page.
Fr. Michael Graham spent over 30 years at Xavier University in Cincinnati, first as an assistant history professor in 1989, then as the VP for University Relations in 1994, and lastly, from 2001 to 2021 as the longest-serving University President. Fr. Graham’s achievements as the XU president are far and wide and include expanding the campus 80 acres, raising 500 million for the university and joining the Big East conference to name a few. But what made Fr. Graham so effective as leader was his connection to the students and his staff. In this interview with Matt, Fr. Graham fondly recalls the stories of students he was able to help in their life journey at Xavier and how proud he is of the path they are on now, living as men and women for others. In addition, Matt and Fr. Graham talk Xavier basketball and how the University has grown to have a more national presence attracting students from all over the country with diverse backgrounds and talents. You can also view this conversation on YouTube here.
 Dr. Cara Hurley is a licensed clinical psychologist whose practices includes a broad range of concerns including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, life transitions, parenting approaches, grief, and trauma. She has specialized in many areas including women’s health, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Health Psychology all which inform her integrative approach to working with each client. The conversation with Matt takes aim at relationships and how we can do the simple things daily to make more deposits into a marriage than withdrawals  She offers suggestions to try (e.g., the 20 second hug), discusses the conflict killers such as criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling and addresses infidelity. A few other relationship specialists that she references include John Gottman and Esther Perel, both who have done valuable research and offer additional advice. For more about Dr. Hurley or the amazing work she does out of her Hinsdale, IL office, visit her website, http://www.cbtspecialistsofchicago.com/. If you wish to view this episode, go to the WGM YouTube page and watch here.
Whether it be running into an old friend, healing from a disease, or just a random song that shows up at the right time, we often attribute events in our lives to just an amazing coincidence.  Or could it be that these coincidences are God’s presence in our day and we just don’t see it? In this podcast, let your faith take a ride as Paul Zucarelli shares his story where he experienced death after he unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest and was revived through intercessory prayer by many. Let his faith be a testament of the purpose God has for us, the power of prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our day and in our coincidences. Paul and his wife Beth sit down with Matt and talk about how Paul’s healing shined light on their true purpose of helping others become closer to Jesus. You can also learn more about Paul on his website https://faithunderstood.org/ or through his book, Faith Understood, An Ordinary Man’s Journey to the Presence of God available on Amazon.  You can also view this interview on YouTube here. 
In 2011, Dr. Tom Jenike was a family practice physician in Charlotte raising his son and daughter. From the outside, you could see layers of success and achievement. But on the inside was a different picture. In the balancing of a grueling schedule, a commitment to patients and the demands of family, something wasn’t right and Tom realized he had found some blind spots that needed to be addressed. He began working with executive coach, Nicholas Beaman, and over the course of a year found a name for what he was feeling - burnout. With this awareness, he dove in and began a personal growth journey that brought major life changes, deeper personal relationships, and a sense of renewal that inspired him to share this growth with others. His courage to share led his hospital system to create a pilot program and the opportunity for Dr. Jenike to transition to the Chief Well Being Officer for Novant Health. In this role, Dr. Jenike supports the resiliency, wellness and leadership of Novant’s 37,000 team members allowing other doctors, nurses, and staff the chance to address their own blind spots and find a healthier balance through this life-changing work. The impact has been beyond what anyone dreamed and is revitalizing careers, igniting personal relationships, and providing long-term tools to prevent burnout. Listen in or view on YouTube this candid and very personal story that Dr. Jenike shares with Matt. To learn more about this transformative work that Dr. Jenike and the Novant team are doing to build their culture, go the the Novant website or you may contact the department directly at Wellbeingandresiliency@novanthealth.org. 
Mary Curran Hackett is today a popular author of several novels and a highly sought after international ghostwriter. Her story to reach this point is inspiring and brave as she has risen up from a low point after surviving a rape over 20 years ago. This tragedy propelled her in many directions but it was these challenges that shaped many of her strengths today. In much of her writing and speaking engagements including this interview with Matt, she shares the wisdom from her journey and the foundation she now has. Many have benefited via her articles, blogs, and essays which have been featured in magazines, on the radio, anthologies, and on national television. She has now edited hundreds of books and ghostwritten over twenty published books for some of the world's leading executives, entrepreneurs, doctors, artists, celebrities, and religious leaders. Her novels include such hits as, Proof of Heaven (2011), Proof of Angels (2014), The Capital One Story (2020), and The Sephora Story (2020). Mary also previously taught writing and literature at the University of Cincinnati. Mary is also helping several clients write their own books, while still managing to find time to work on her own memoir and next novel. She is married to Greg Hackett and the proud mother of two children. To learn more about Mary, visit here here website - www.marycurranhackett.com. If you wish to see the video version of this interview, it can be viewed here - https://youtu.be/BuuYRIr0CAo
Brian Morris is a loving husband and father of 5 and the head golf pro at Ocean View Golf Course in Bermuda. He grew up around golf and always hoped for a chance to play in a PGA event. However in 2019, the 54 year old was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. He is today being treated regularly for his esophageal and stomach cancer. But supporting this treatment plan is his incredible spirit and positive approach which is helping him battle like crazy to keep beating the odds. His family and friends have been the beneficiaries of his brave battle. He got to celebrate with them all in October 2021 when a sponsor’s exemption allowed him to make his PGA Tour debut at the Bermuda Championship. It was a dream come true and truly a reward for his approach to how he lives every day. Enjoy this heart-warming interview and learn more about all the people Brian is inspiring. 
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