Saturday, February 13, 2010

Karen Black, World Freerunning and Parkour Federation, Hemophilia Foundation SoCal and USA Water Polo

This special Valentines Edition of the Experience is dedicated to the memory of my father-in-law and in honor of my mother-in-law.
They would have celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary today which inspirers and reminds me that  "family, love, laughter and baseball should always be treasured and cared for."

Tune in this Sunday morning!
710 ESPN Radio
Southern California Experience
with LaFern Cusack
Sunday, February 14, 2010 -5am-6am (PST)
Listen Online Live:

A Conversation with Karen Black and John Wildman 
Karen Black, actress, screenwriter, singer and songwriter stops by our studios. She is noted for appearing in such iconic films as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby, The Day of the Locust, Nashville and Alfred Hitchcock's final film, Family Plot.

She sits down with me to discuss some of her current projects including Will Ferrell's HBO's FUNNY OR DIES PRESENTS" airing February 19th at midnight, STUCK!, an homage to the women in prison films of the 50s shot in B/W, just premiered at the Egyptian Theatre. In the film, Karen plays an overzealous neighbor whose testimony sends an innocent girl to prison. Karen stars with Susan Traylor, Jane Wiedlin, Mink Stole and Pleasant German and DISTURBED with Eric Balfour and Rachel Miner.  Additional upcoming films include:  SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE, a Horror Comedy produced by John Landis, which stars Kevin Corrigan as an illustrator that seeks revenge against a group of bullies that hurt him in his youth. Karen stars as the mother of Corrigan's character; CLAIMING JULIA, which she stars with her good friend Barbara Bain as two women competing for influence over Karen's character's daughter and Alex Cox's REPO CHICK - the long awaited followup to his 80s classic REPO MAN.

John Wildman is the former Head of Press and Public Relations for the American Film Institute. He is noted for innovating film festival public relations through his work as the Director of PR for film festivals such as AFI FEST, the Dallas International Film Festival, the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, and the Feel Good Film Festival (Los Angeles). In addition, he is the Producer of The Vision Awards (an award show that benefits Retinitis Pigmentosa International) and writes about films and film festivals for Envy Magazine, Moving Pictures, and his popular Wildworx blog.

PART DEUX - The World Freerunning and Parkour Federation

David Thompson, King David and Travis Wong
explore the world of PARKOUR with LaFern. The World Freerunning & Parkour Federation is dedicated to the safe and respectful advancement of the Parkour Movement throughout the world.

Miss last week?  Download Podcasts!

(Photo ID left to right: Travis Wong, King David and David ThompsonThe World Freerunning & Parkour Federation)

The Hemophilia Foundation of Southern California- Lessons I Have Learned by Corey Parker 
 "It was 1992, I was 21 years old and had just been drafted by the Detroit Tigers to play minor league baseball.  I was sent to Niagara Falls, NY, with some of the best players from around the country and was determined to show them that I was strong, that I belonged there, and that my hemophilia was not going to hold me back. Two weeks into the season I was up to bat and was nailed by a fastball in my right elbow. It started to swell immediately. The team trainer came over to see if I was all right and I told him that I was fine and just needed some ice. I didn’t know how to self-infuse, and I surely wasn’t going to go to the hospital just because I had been hit by a ball. I was determined to treat my injuries like all the other players did. I was sure that after a night of icing and praying, my elbow would be okay. I was wrong - I woke up in the morning with my elbow the size of a small watermelon.

I had waited too long to treat my injury, and now had to deal with all the bleeding into my elbow before there was any permanent damage. Fortunately, I knew that physical therapy was my best plan of attack. My physical therapist had recommended that I treat with factor before each therapy session to assure that I would not complicate things and cause more bleeding. We would work together to work the fluid out of the joint and then slowly increase my range of motion until it was back to normal. Finally, we would work to strengthen the joint to help prevent more bleeds in the future.

I continued in baseball and played six years in the minor leagues. Unfortunately, I never finished a season without being out for at least a month with a minor bleed that had turned into a major one because I hadn’t treated it early enough. Years later, after my baseball career had come to an end, I realized that the way that I dealt with my bleeding disorder was holding me back, not the fact that I had hemophilia. It took me a long time to accept the fact that I am different than the other players because of my bleeding condition and, as a result, I need to take better care of myself.

My involvement in sports and the hemophilia community have worked together to improve the quality of my life. My parents were always very supportive of me and my brothers, but as an adult with mild hemophilia (Factor VIII), I have come to realize the benefits of being involved with the bleeding disorders community. As I have listened to others share their experiences, I have learned a lot about how to better manage my condition. Building relationships with others in the hemophilia community has helped me tremendously.

One example of this was when I went to hemophilia camp for the first time as a volunteer at the age of 26. I remember watching two 9-year old boys with severe hemophilia playing catch in front of the recreation room when one of the boys fell on his knee. He picked himself up, wiped the tears from his eyes, went to the infirmary to infuse himself, and, within a matter of minutes, was right back outside playing catch again. I couldn’t believe that this 9-year old with severe hemophilia had more control over his bleeding disorder than I did.

That was when I realized what an important role the foundation plays in the hemophilia community. It provides an avenue where families can get together and learn from each other, and summer camp is a great place for kids to take ownership of their hemophilia and learn to take care of themselves. If I had taken advantage of some of the great programs the foundation had when I was young, I might have learned how to infuse and taken a more aggressive approach when dealing with my injuries.

Becoming involved in the hemophilia community has helped me to educate myself and given me a much better understanding of how to take care of my bleeding disorder. But the best part of my involvement is great friends I’ve gained. I have never been around a group of people who care so much for each other. It’s as if there is a special connection based on our similar experiences, and we are able to talk about anything with one another.

My father had a quote pinned to the wall when I was young that read… “I used to complain that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” I don’t know where the saying came from, and I’m not sure why it stayed with me, but I do know that it helped me to accept what I have and to make the most of my life. I believe our community is full of people who have done the same. "

Our 2nd Annual Southern California Hemophilia Walk will take place on Saturday, October 9, 2010 at The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Launched in 2008, the Hemophilia Walk is a nationwide event that raises funds and awareness about hemophilia and other bleeding and clotting disorders. Participants raise money, locally and nationally, for crucial research, advocacy and education by joining together in a fun and festive event.

If you couldn't get enough!  Tune into...
The Playground with LaFern Cusack
Radio Disney AM1110 @ 6:30am-7am

USA Water Presents An Inside Look At: Splash Ball
Olympic World Champion Betsey Armstrong and Greg Mescall, Associate Director of Communications, USA Water Polo. Betsey provides us with Olympic Winning Tips on being a Goalkeeper and playing Water Polo.

About Betsey Armstrong: Chalked up 67 saves during the Gold Medal run at the 2009 FINA World Championships. Posted 50 saves during Silver Medal run at 2008 FINA World League Super Final...Names top goalkeeper at the FINA World League Super Final...Denied 30 shots in three and a half games at 2007 Holiday Cup in Long Beach, CA…Recorded 38 saves in Gold Medal run at 2007 Pan American Games Tallied 13 saves in limited action (illness) at Super Final 2007 …Named outstanding goalkeeper at 2007 FINA World Championships…March 2007 Runner-up for USOC Female Athlete of the Month… Selected to Senior National team after attending open tryouts in May 2006…First Senior National team appearance at 2006 FINA World League…Starting goalkeeper on Junior National team (2000-01) ... Rookie of the Year (1998). More...
Does my child need to know how to play water polo? Splash Ball has been setup specifically for those children that are beginner to water polo and the want to learn. We will have water polo trained coaches that will do the teaching and explain all aspects of water polo and some swim stroke techniques.

What gender is eligible to play?
Both boys AND girls are welcome to register with Splash Ball. The required age is 5 to 9 years of age.
Is Water Polo a rough sport to play; especially for young children? The Splash Ball program has been designed and structured as a NO CONTACT program. This will allow new athletes to experience a new sport and learn to have fun playing water polo.


LaFern Cusack
currently produces and hosts 710 ESPN's Experience (Sun. 5a-6a) and Radio Disney AM1110 Playground (Sun 6:30a-7a). With these shows LaFern delivers an inspiring, dynamic and insightful experience to listeners. She brings her humor, warmth and talent for tackling topical community issues with her unique style connecting with every aspect of the show.

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