- PhD computer science, Duke University
- Author three technical books, three US patents
- Author Who Says I Can’t memoir that began a movement
- Founder eight high tech startups
- Co-creator/host YouTube TV channel WSICTV
- Founder The Who Says I Can’t Foundation
- Extreme athlete skiing, biking, open water swimming
- Media coverage including Today Show, CNN, Fox, USA Today, NECN, Boston Globe.
- Location: Wayland, Massachusetts
|Email:||jothy [AT] whosaysicant [DOT] net|
|Address:||133 Glezen Lane, Wayland, MA 01778|
|Publicist:||mstefan [AT] emergepr [DOT] com|
Jothy Rosenberg has a PhD in computer science from Duke University where he stayed on as professor for five years. He caught the entrepreneurial bug and founded his first company in California. Jothy has gone on to found eight startups overall in Silicon Valley and Boston. He has written three technical (computer-oriented) books. But his real pride and joy is his memoir called Who Says I Can’t that recounts how he used extreme sports to recover from two bouts with cancer, an amputation, and having a lung removed, all as a teenager when he was also told he had zero chance of survival. More than forty years later he is still very active in those extreme sports, uses many of them to raise money for important causes, helps startup companies navigate the perilous early days of life, runs several large government research programs in cyber security, and is a motivational speaker on topics from Who Says I Can’t. With his partner Steve McCarthy, who is an Emmy Award-winning director, he created a TV series on YouTube (WSICTV) also called Who Says I Can’t, that focuses on the incredible people you will find everywhere who refuse to be knocked down by life and show us through sports, how to fight back and thrive regardless of what life throws at us. Now, again with Steve, Jothy is producing a documentary film called Who Says Roseann Can’t Run that will show the reality of what it takes to go from suddenly losing a leg to running again but now with a prosthetic leg. Jothy created The Who Says I Can’t Foundation to help those struck down with a disability–like Roseann–get back into high challenge activities and he continues to use his athletic events (The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, The Alcatraz Sharkfest) to raise money for important causes himself. Jothy lives with his wife and two golden retrievers in Wayland, MA.
Partner Steve McCarthy Bio
Positive and inspirational, Who Says I Can’t is a television show that tells the story of brave and determined men and as they overcome disabilities and become athletes. The program exhibits the “up close and personal” style of Olympic features combined with the heart-warming community elements of “Extreme Makeover” and mixes them with the excitement of “The Amazing Race.” Jothy is partnered with Steve McCarthy, a director and Emmy Award winning producer with more than 25 years experience in network TV News and documentaries. After staff jobs with 60 Minutes and Dateline, Steve started his own production company “McCarthy Productions, Inc.” Besides producing for 60 Minutes, Dateline, Discovery, the NBC Nightly News and the Today Show, Steve also produced and directed the independent film “Finding Paddy.” He resides in Montclair, NJ where he also mentors communications students at Montclair State University.
Our YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/WSICTV
For Photos, Quotes, Media and Videos please use the following links.
Jothy’s Back Story
At age 16 I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which, back then, always resulted in an emergency amputation because the cancer so readily gets into the blood stream. Both the amputation and the idea that I had cancer were very hard for me to deal with, especially at such a young age. As a matter of self-preservation, I learned how to do some of my favorite physical activities, starting with skiing. I was making steady progress on all fronts when three years later at my normal every-six-month checkup I heard the dreadful words: “You won’t be going home today — we are checking you into the hospital.” In yet another emergency surgery about 2/5 of my lungs — the site to which my original bone cancer had chosen to metastasize — were removed. I was in no way prepared for the psychological blow I was about to receive which was by far the worst that had ever happened to me. The doctor told me: “No one has ever survived when this cancer metastasizes.” What my 19-year old brain heard was “You have zero chance of survival.” I believed him, so when the chemotherapy course was over, I left home and school to become a ski bum with the expectation that I would ski until I was dead.
I skied 100 days straight and learned to ski well on one ski. When spring came I was, quite to my surprise, still alive. I suddenly had to think about the future. I kept barreling headlong into the next thing and the next. I got my PhD. I wrote four books. I got married, had kids. All pretty normal stuff. But not for me. Each achievement was a big deal for me and I never took any of them lightly.
I started to swim and got better and better at it to the point where I could compete in major open water swims. To date, I have done the Alcatraz swim 20 times. I donated to a rider in the Boston to New York AIDS ride and was struck by how impressive a feat that was — 375 miles in four days. The person who told me, “Yes, it’s a major commitment and it seems like something a person with one leg and one lung could never do” didn’t realize what saying something like that does to a survivor. I fought back against the doubt and characterization of me as somehow fragile and limited. I signed up for the next year’s AIDS ride and worked through long lonely training rides and extreme exhaustion of my poor left leg. But I was ready when the time came and completed the full 375 miles from Boston to 8th Avenue in NYC. I did that Boston-New York ride three times and then switched to the cancer-research-raising Pan-Massachusetts Challenge 192-mile bike-a-thon that each year raises over $35M in one weekend.
Once my Who Says I Can’t book started to get some acclaim, I realized that thousands of people struck down in life had equally or more amazing stories than mine but they might not write their own book. So I decided to tell their stories and created a TV Production Company to do so. I raised money from family and friends and funded three high quality 14-minute episodes telling the stories of Maureen McKinnen, Kelly Bruno and Hugh Herr. The show initially has been launched on YouTube but I sincerely hope it can get the exposure it deserves from a major network.
When I realized that Gloria Steinem is right when she said, “It’s not that self-esteem is everything. It’s just that there is nothing without it,” and that the key to self-esteem for someone with a disability is success at a high challenge activity, I decided to create a foundation to help make this possible. Insurance won’t pay for a running leg or a sit ski. And no one will pay for the intensive coaching needed to get someone to be really competent at them. With 40 years of experience as an amputee very active in sports, I have a lot of resources who can help. So The Who Says I Can’t Foundation was born in early 2013. More info at http://whosaysicant.org.