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WXXI-TV

Saturday, January 22 at 3 p.m. Second Opinion: Spinal Cord Injury

(Rochester, NY) WXXI's national health care series Second Opinion tells two personal stories about devastating spinal cord injuries. Dr. Brad Berk, the CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center shares the story of the bicycle accident that left him in a wheelchair, and 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. Second Opinion: Spinal Cord Injury airs Saturday, January 22 at 3 p.m. and again Sunday, January 23 at 1:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), and will air nationwide on more than 250 public television stations across the country.

Each year, more than 11,000 Americans will experience a similar injury, often causing permanent disability or paralysis.  Advances in research may someday make the repair of spinal cord injuries possible, but current treatments and rehabilitation allow many people to lead productive, independent lives.

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 his story along with his great sense of humor and outlook on life.

Second Opinion is 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.

Please note: An hour-long primetime special was also produced on this topic, and will air on Wednesday, January 19 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD as part of Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies that stimulates community dialogue about the abilities of people with disabilities.

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

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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.