New Show Highlights the ‘Can Do’ Spirit of Mckinnon-Tucker

October 26, 2011
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On Friday, films crews of a new television show filmed its pilot episode at Piers Park Sailing Center and will feature Paralympics Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon-Tucker’s story of triumph over tragedy.

The new show, “Who says I Can’t,” is hosted by Piers Park Sailing Board Member and amputee Jothy Rosenberg and will be sent to various stations for consideration.

“We are still shopping around for a network and we have lots of interest,” said Rosenberg at Piers Park last Friday. “But we are debuting the pilot episode at Piers Park Sailing Center’s annual ‘All Hands on Deck’ fundraiser on Sunday, October 30 in Boston.”

Rosenberg was 16 when he lost his right leg to deadly bone cancer and 19 when the cancer spread to his lungs, one of which was removed. But things got even worse when his doctor warned that when the type of cancer he was diagnosed with metastasizes and no one has survived.

That’s when Rosenberg said he left home to ski until he dropped dead.

But 35 years later, Rosenberg is still alive and he’s living the life of his dreams.

Since the loss of his leg, and later a lung, to cancer, Jothy has earned a Ph.D. in computer science, started eight high-tech companies—two of which sold for over $100 million dollars—married and had two kids, became an extreme athlete, and written four books, including the popular, “Who Says I Can’t.”

He’s a sought-after speaker and media guest who’s been featured on NBC’s Today show and been invited back for another appearance.

His upcoming reality TV series spotlights incredible men and women, like McKinnon-Tucker, who’ve been knocked down by life but courageously fought back, using sports to become even better than they were before.

McKinnon-Tucker, a quadriplegic and her skipper the late Nick Scandone who suffered from ALS, took gold in the SKUD-18 Sailing event at Qingdao Olympic Sailing Centre during day seven of the Paralympic Games in Beijing back in 2008.

It was the first gold medal win for the U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team and McKinnon-Tucker will go down in the history books as the first ever woman to not only make the team but the first woman to win gold in the Paralympic Sailing Regatta.

“I set a goal in 2002 that I would represent my country in the highest level of the sport – The Paralympic Games.” said McKinnon-Tucker of her accomplishment. “Our team finished third in 2003, losing the U.S. Trials for Athens, Greece and I left heartbroken. I took time out for a second child and returned in 2006 to competition.”

McKinnon-Tucker had the honor of making the U.S. Disabled Sailing Team five times, but this is the first time she won the U.S. Trials with Scandone.

McKinnon-Tucker was the first woman to make the U.S. team and is now the first woman in Paralympic Sailing to represent the USA and win a gold.

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