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Wednesday, January 19 at 10 p.m. Second Opinion: Spinal Cord Injury

(Rochester, NY) As part of its annual Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies are pleased to present an encore broadcast of Second Opinion Special Edition: Spinal Cord Injury on Wednesday, January 19 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11). In this special, University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Dr. Brad Berk shares his personal story about his 2009 bicycle accident that injured his spinal cord, and has left him in a wheelchair.

Dr. Berk joins panelists Dr. David Chen, Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Dr. Paul Maurer, a neurosurgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center, to discuss his accident and treatment. Mary Berk MSW, Dr. Berk's wife, joins him on set to share her experiences since his accident, including how it has affected their lives. She offers firsthand advice to families undergoing similar challenges. Patient panelist Charlie Durkee also joins in the conversation, as he shares the trials he has faced since his accident which left him paralyzed at the age of 22.

Over 11,000 Americans suffer spinal cord injuries every year. Many are left with some form of irreversible damage, such as paralysis. Although medical scientists are working toward the day when the effects of spinal cord injuries can be reversed, today's therapies focus on helping disabled individuals lead productive, independent lives.

Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies, is a week-long outreach initiative designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with disabilities. At the heart of this initiative is programming broadcast on WXXI-TV and AM 1370 that celebrates the amazing lives of people with disabilities. Dialogue on Disability runs January 16-23. Dialogue on Disability is made possible thanks to support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.

Second Opinion is a weekly series seen on more than 250 public television stations across the country. It is produced by WXXI, the University of Rochester Medical Center and West 175 Productions. Second Opinion is made possible in part by support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), which has been the major funder since the series’ inception in 2004.

Pictured: Dr. Brad Berk on set with his wife Mary.



WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.