Recovering from a stroke or brain injury can feel very lonely, but the NeuroNerds are here to help through their love of all things nerd! Each Monday, join Joe Borges and his co-host Lauren Manzano as they share stories from their personal recovery journeys; offer tips for coping and thriving; interview fellow survivors and experts; and talk about varying nerd topics from comics to superhero movie theories to video games and more. If you’re a stroke or brain injury survivor, a caregiver or family member of a survivor or just a big lover of nerd culture, this podcast is for you.
What are the signs of a stroke, TBI, aneurysm & other brain injuries? Co-hosts Joe and Lauren are going over all the signs in this episode in honor of Brain Injury Awareness month. Plus Lauren shows us just how nerdy she is as she dives deep into her love of D&D and Baldur's Gate. What are some signs of a brain injury? Did we miss any? Please share on our socials.
Captain Marvel is finally here!! And we're talking all about it in this episode. SPOILERS AHEAD Our producer, Felice LaZae is sitting in with our host Joe Borges to breakdown the movie and share their reviews and reactions. They also discuss recent celebrities who have suffered strokes including the sad passing of Luke Perry. Plus they announce The NeuroNerds joining the Gonna Geek Podcast Network! What is your favorite part of the new Captain Marvel movie? Share with us on our socials!
It's our second time celebrating Brain Injury Awareness on The NeuroNerds podcast and obviously it's very special to us and our brain injury survivor community. Co-hosts Joe and Lauren re-introduce themselves to our audience, give us a year in review for the podcast, their individual stroke and TBI recovery progress and talk about plans for future episodes and video content. If you are a brain injury survivor, how is your recovery journey going? Let us know on our socials!
It’s our 1-year anniversary! And in honor of the occasion this episode features a special guest interview with SimpleCast COO, Jeanine Wright. In addition to being an executive, investor, attorney and mom, Jeanine also has a brain condition called a cavernous angioma and she shares her story with co-hosts Joe and Lauren plus of course she let’s us in on what her favorite nerdom is. The NeuroNerds podcast is actually hosted on SimpleCast’s platform so it was a real treat to record this episode at their studio! After a year of The NeuroNerds, what’s your favorite episode? Please share with us on our socials!
Spring is bringing an explosion of nerdom on TV and movies and co-hosts Joe and Lauren have a lot of feelings, hopes and theories to talk about. In this episode, they discuss all the new Marvel movies coming out like Captain Marvel, Avengers End Game and more; the Game of Thrones final season; and more big TV and movie moments we've all been waiting for. Plus they talk about all the brain injury and PTSD references that are being featured in TV and film. Some spoiler alerts are ahead. What shows and movies are you most looking forward to? Please let us know on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!
The latest season of Netflix and Marvel's The Punisher is really putting a spotlight on TBI's through the main villain, Billy Russo aka Jigsaw's experience recovering from his brain injury. So naturally, our co-hosts Joe and Lauren are discussing this in detail along with touching on John Wick, PTSD and Joe's most recent frustrations with his memory post-stroke. What are some of your biggest challenges post brain injury? Please share with us on our socials.
It's our 50th episode! Which means we're just a few episodes away from our 1-year anniversary! In this episode Joe interviews another one of his #BrainBuddies, Jamie Coyle, creator of Stroke Survivors Never Quit. Former hockey player turned activist, Jamie suffered an adolescent stroke. She shares her recovery journey, dealing with people who don't understand her deficits and how helping other survivors is her mission. Plus her partner, Kayla joins in to give some insight on being a support system for a loved who has suffered from a stroke. If you are a family member, partner or caregiver to a stroke survivor, what are some ways you support your loved one through their recovery journey and "new normal" life post-stroke?
In this episode our host Joe, interviews the creators of Stroke of Genius - stroke survivor, filmmaker and producer, Kyle Mengelkamp and his creative partner Liam Alexander. They talk about recovery, dealing with bullies, their new creative venture with Arianna Huffington's new Thrive platform and their plans to share stories and build a community centered around triumph. What is your story of triumph? Share with us on our socials.
Off the cuff and jazzy, co-hosts Joe and Lauren scat their way through this uber nerdy episode with a focus on the MCU and all things Marvel. They're talking potential Marvel spin-off shows with Loki and Bucky Barnes, the future of Netflix Marvel shows and their predictions for future films. Sort of Spoilers ahead! What are your predictions and hopes for the MCU in 2019?
Co-host Lauren is our resident twerking, dragon Kahleesi, mother of concussions and in this episode she and our host Joe dive deep into her concussion recovery journey as well as her initial experience of being diagnosed with a severe concussion after a car accident. She shares the main signs of a concussion, tips on recovery and how she copes with her "new normal" post-concussion. Playing computer games was really relaxing for Lauren during her recovery. What are some tools and activities that helped our concussion survivor listeners?
Join our host Joe Borges for our very first live episode of The NeuroNerds interviewing celebrity Chef Jamie Gwen and Chef Ally at the festival Live On Green in Pasadena leading up to the Rose Parade. Joe hosted their Culinary Cues stage all three days of the festival from December 29th-31st this year and was given the opportunity to record and film a live episode with the chefs. They talk about Joe's recovery and how eating healthy makes a big impact in the recovery of all stroke and brain injury survivors. Both chefs offer tips and tricks to make healthy food yummy and serve up some delicious brain healthy recipes. They also offer tips to incorporate healthy foods into your daily routine. What are some of your favorite healthy foods?
It's New Years and our host Joe is doing a special solo episode reflecting on all the things he is grateful for in this past year. Plus he shares his goals and plans for 2019! What are your goals for 2019?
It’s Christmas Eve and The NeuroNerds are going full holiday in this episode! Co-hosts Joe and Lauren talk about Christmas, Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice and other winter celebrations from around the world. Plus they talk about their plans for NeuroNerds YouTube videos in 2019 and setting goals for the new year. What are you plans for the holidays and goals for the New Year? Happy Holidays from The NeuroNerds!
Co-hosts Joe and Lauren offer tips and techniques for coping with the stresses, depression, anxiety and overstimulation often caused by the holidays. The holidays can be tough for anyone not to mention someone with a brain injury so they give a unique perspective to enjoy this happy time of year to the fullest and of course sprinkle in some holiday nerdom. What are some ways you cope with the holidays?
The new ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer just released a few days ago and co-hosts Joe and Lauren have lots of feelings about it so of course this episode is all about it! Joe and Lauren dive deep into their predictions and theories for the upcoming movie. What do you think the endgame is going to be for the Avengers!? Warning: Spoiler Alert!
This is Part 2 of last week's episode with host Joe Borges interviewing AVM survivor, Thomas Mejia. Thomas is also our December Patreon Donation spotlight supporting his 4th craniotomy surgery and recovery. This is our first month donating a portion of the proceeds from our Patreon supporters to causes and individual survivors like Thomas. Every month we will be featuring a different donation spotlight and we're happy to kick this off with Thomas! So take a listen as Joe and Thomas continue this final half of their interview exploring and reflecting on Thomas’ journey as he prepares for what will hopefully be his last craniotomy surgery this December.
It’s our 40th episode! So of course this is an extra special episode. It’s host Joe Borges’ first interview with a fellow brain injury survivor in-person! But it’s really less of an interview and more of a candid talk between two brain injury survivors. This episode’s interviewee is AVM survivor Thomas Mejia. Thomas is also our December Patreon Donation spotlight supporting his 4th craniotomy surgery and recovery. This is our first month donating a portion of the proceeds from our Patreon supporters to causes and individual survivors like Thomas. Every month we will be featuring a different donation spotlight and we’re very excited to kick off this new initiative with Thomas! So take a listen as Joe and Thomas explore and reflect on Thomas’ journey as he prepares for what will hopefully be his last craniotomy surgery this December.
This episode is a tribute to the late, great, king of the nerds - Stan Lee. Co-host Lauren is out due to her recent pup, Destiny passing away (we love you Destiny!) so host, Joe reflects on Stan Lee and all of his achievements with guest (and NN producer/girlfriend) Felice LaZae. Together they walk down memory lane and discuss all of the amazing Marvel characters and stories, Stan created. Plus Felice serenades us with an acapella rendition of Spider-Man theme song; they talk about the future of the MCU; character and story predictions; how Stan’s characters are an inspiration to stroke and brain injury survivors on the hero’s journey and oh yeah, SPOILER ALERTS ahead! What’s your favorite Stan Lee memory, character or story?
Lauren explains the symbolism behind the turtle carrying the world on its back which gets to the heart of this episode where Joe talks about the pressure and guilt he puts on himself when he compares his recovery journey to others. Lauren reminds him that ultimately comparison is the thief of happiness. Our hosts examine better ways to reframe and have compassion for others while still feeling good about their recovery process at the same time.
Co-hosts Joe and Lauren discuss change in this episode. They mainly focus on change post brain injury, during recovery including its challenges, how it affects relationships and how it can help prevent future health issues. They discuss their own personal experiences with making health and lifestyle changes post brain injury and compare the differences between recovering from a traumatic brain injury like Lauren’s concussion and an acquired brain injury like Joe’s stroke. What are some changes you have made post brain injury or after a similar life changing experience?
It's almost Halloween and fresh off of seeing the new 'Halloween' movie, host Joe Borges discusses the movie with fellow horror movie connoisseur, friend and hit producer Sleep Deez! Sleep has been a guest on the show before and is the producer of our NeuroNerds theme song. The two scary movie junkies talk about everything from Chuckie, Friday the 13th to ghosts and their favorite bad scary movies. Plus Joe is super excited about his new sound fx sampler! Can you guess who's laugh that is playing throughout the episode? And what's your favorite scary movie?
It's October so co-hosts Joe and Lauren are talking about their favorite vampire lore in this episode! They go through vampire lore over the centuries from Dracula's origins to Marvel's Morbius. Joe's favorite is 'Blade' and Lauren 's favorite is 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer'. What's you're favorite vampire lore? The more obscure, the better!
This episode is all about post-stroke and neuro-fatigue. Co-hosts Joe Borges and Lauren Manzano discuss their experiences with this condition and how they manage and cope with it. They give tips from seeing a therapist, seeking a community even if it is long distance and the importance of being patient with yourself and your progress throughout recovery. Plus, Oct 15th (the day of this podcast release) is the 3-year anniversary of Lauren’s concussion so we are celebrating her recovery and how far she has come!
Co-hosts Joe and Lauren talk about imposter syndrome, the irrational fear of being exposed as a fraud. This condition is talked about a lot in business, but Joe and Lauren talk about how it can affect survivors. They both reflect on their own experiences with this feeling and how it has affected their recovery. Plus they relate this condition back to DC, Marvel and even The Addams Family. And Joe talks more about the new NeuroNerds Patreon and the YouSoRock Facebook Support Group. Have you joined yet?
Co-host Lauren is out kicking ass so Joe’s partner and girlfriend Felice LaZae is our guest host for this episode. Joe revisits and updates us on his mental health journey with his therapist. Plus they discuss the YouSoRock Facebook Support Group and The NeuroNerds new Patreon page! Have you become a part of the NeuroJedi High Council yet?
It’s another nerd heavy episode all about Kaiju monsters! Co-hosts Joe and Lauren dig into Godzilla, King Kong and other classic monsters discussing their film adaptations both good and bad. Plus they talk about their favorite devil cinematic adaptations and anime. And they hint at some big news that will be announced in the coming weeks, The NeuroNerds are getting a Patreon page where you can support the show and get cool insider stuff to connect you to the show even more so. More details coming soon!
Co-host Lauren is back to nerd out with host Joe about their mutual love of nerd king, Viggo Mortensen. What makes an actor a nerd king? Any actor who has been in movies with big nerd fandom and is almost irreplaceable as the character they played like Viggo in Lord of The Rings as Aragorn, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine or Hugo Weaving in pretty much any role he’s played. Who’s your favorite nerd king?
With co-host Lauren out for a pole dance competition, this episode features host Joe Borges with special guest co-host Bethany Noelle aka BooBoo. Bethany is very special to The NeuroNerds because she is our art department! She created The NeuroNerds logo and is currently designing our t-shirts which are coming soon. In this episode, Joe and Bethany discuss their quests for new psychological therapists to help with PTSD, anxiety and more. They talk about their coping mechanisms like meditation, leaning on support systems and how service and therapy dogs are great for psychiatric support.
Host, Joe Borges is interviewing not one, but three amazing guests in this episode. These guests are the Three Stromies - three women who connected through their common experience of surviving major strokes at young ages. They share their experiences from suffering their strokes to recovery to their lives after stroke. Plus they talk about how they found purpose in sharing other stroke survivor’s stories as well as their own to inspire and empowering our stroke survivor community.
The NeuroNerds are getting physical in this episode and discussing the importance of fitness and exercise during the brain injury recovery process. Joe and Lauren both maintain workout regimen and give tips and advice on how to start and stay consistent. In true nerdy fashion, they somehow connect fitness to video games and super heroes as well.
To continue Joe’s August month-long Stroke-iversary, he continues the talk about his recovery with co-host Lauren. They get real about their hang-ups and issues with admitting their disabilities and deficits from their respective brain injuries and how important it is to accept it and face these challenges head on.
It’s a special 25th episode of The NeuroNerds celebrating our host, Joe’s 2-year Stroke-iversary! It’s a celebration because since suffering a major hemorrhagic stroke on August 4, 2016, Joe has gained a new lease on life and made it his mission to live his Best Life. With his partner, girlfriend and caregiver Felice guest co-hosting this episode, they both go down memory lane and reflect on Joe’s stroke recovery journey offering tips, advice and lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Joe and Lauren are talking all about their favorite Disney Princesses from the classics like Snow White to the new school like Mulan to the newly inducted Star Wars Princess Leia! What’s a Disney Princess without magical hair? They talk about their favorite hair powers and how important hair becomes when facing surgery for brain injuries. Who’s your favorite Disney Princess and if you could have any hair power, what would it be?
This episode features our first remote interview! Our first interviewee is with fellow brain injury survivor, Mimi Hayes. Mimi is currently living in New York living the creative life as a comedian and soon to be published author just a few short years after suffering a cavernous angioma that hemorrhaged in her brain. Defying all odds, Mimi is flourishing and her book “I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head” will be published on September 18, 2018. Listen to co-host Joe Borges and Lauren Manzano interview this inspiring NeuroNerd superstar!
It’s a special San Diego Comic Con 2018 episode of The NeuroNerds! Not only is this episode is jam packed with nerd news from Comic Con, but also on-location interviews with our NeuroNerd adjacent correspondent, Ashley Hopson who attended Comic Con and gave us some inside news, scoops, reactions and fun from the convention in-person. Joe and Lauren give lots of their reviews as well plus theories and hopes for what’s to come in the world of nerdom. Joe also discusses PTSD and dealing with overstimulation at large events like Comic Con.
IT, H.P. Lovecraft and all things Cosmic Horror are the focus of co-hosts Joe Borges and Lauren Manzano in this scary edition of The NeuroNerds. They talk about their favorite horror movies, the varying types of horror genres and dissect the novel turned movie, IT at length so major spoiler alert! What are your favorite horror movies?
Lauren is back just in time for The NeuroNerds’ 20th Episode! This is extra special because it’s the first time Joe and Lauren are recording an episode at Joe’s new home. They discuss the importance of family in the recovery process along with their favorite and least favorite families in nerdom. What’s your favorite nerdy family?
It’s host Joe Borges’ birthday and with moving to a new home plus co-host Lauren Manzano being tied up, he’s doing a special JoSoloRocks episode. He reflects on the move, his birthday, his plans for the future of The NeuroNerds and YouSoRocks as well as shouts out his survivor community that has helped him tremendously with his recovery.
Better late than never, co-host Lauren has finally seen Star Wars: The Last Jedi so naturally she and co-host Joe are diving deep into Star Wars nerdom in this episode. (Spoiler alerts for all things Star Wars!) They’re talking Star Wars past, present and future. What’s your favorite Star Wars movie? Share with us on Twitter and Instagram!
Wouldn’t it be great to have a conference or meet-up with fellow stroke and brain injury survivors!? Co-hosts Joe and Lauren discuss ideas of just that in this latest episode. Plus they list their favorite fictional teams/support groups in comics, TV, movies and books.
It’s been a tough week with the loss of public figures, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain to suicide. Last episode’s discussion of mental health continues with a focus on suicide prevention. Co-hosts Joe and Lauren share their own personal stories and struggles with mental health and how to find help to get through it.
Co-hosts Joe and Lauren were so busy focusing on Stroke Awareness Month in May that they didn’t get a chance to touch on the fact that May was also Mental Health Awareness Month so they’re diving into discussing it in this week’s episode. They both talk about their personal struggles with mental health as well as more about Joe’s stroke recovery journey and how it affects him mentally.
WARNING: Spoiler alert (again)! Joe and Lauren have a lot to process about the Avengers: Infinity War and they couldn’t fit it all in last week’s episode so this is part 2 of their reviews, theories and reactions to Infinity War. So process all the emotions and tears along with them and let us know what were your favorite parts of the movie!
WARNING: Spoiler alert! In this episode, The NeuroNerds are talking all about their feelings, reactions and favorite parts of Avengers: Infinity War. It’s also Stroke Awareness Month which is really important especially to host, Joe who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke almost two years ago. Joe and co-host Lauren will be offering some advice and tips on how to spot a stroke early on and what to do if you or someone you love is experiencing a stroke.
Lauren is back! It’s a reunion episode and Joe is so happy to have his co-host back from Spain. They talk about her trip, Joe’s creepy birthday voicemail and how learning a new language can help with the brain injury recovery process even if it’s a fictional language from Lord of the Rings or Star Trek. Plus they discuss reading vs listening to audio books and the brain’s relationship to language.
It’s a Joe Solo episode! Today’s show is hosted by our host Joe and an occasional bark from his service dog, Stella. He’s talking all about the challenges of recovering from a brain injury and how the journey, even with a support system and caregivers, can still feel lonely at times. It can be difficult for non-brain injury survivors to relate, but that’s why Joe is working hard to create community of support through his blog JoeSoRocks.com and YouSoRock Facebook group. He offers tips for coping and overall hope and motivation to keep persevering through your own brain injury recovery journey to not just survive, but thrive!
With co-host Lauren Manzano, still traveling abroad, this week’s episode features another guest co-host, Sleep Deez with host Joe Borges on-location at Coachella Music Festival. Sleep is a multi-platinum producer and just happens to also be the composer of The NeuroNerds podcast theme song so he is the perfect person to review the performances at the festival. Joe and Sleep discuss their favorite Coachella shows from Beyonce to Alt-J to Jorja Smith plus Sleep’s personal experience with a family member battling a neurological disorder. They also explore how even through brain injuries and disorders, music can still often be remembered and its familiarity comforts and helps with the healing process. Mental deficits and affects of various brain injuries are also touched on as well as Joe’s trick for battling overstimulation when in public, especially in crowded settings like Coachella.
With our co-host, Lauren, traveling abroad, this week’s episode features guest co-host Felice LaZae. Felice is our host, Joe’s long time girlfriend and partner in crime. They discuss the stroke recovery journey from Felice’s perspective as Joe’s caregiver and support system. Joe’s dissociative episodes are also explored and compared to Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Plus Felice and Joe offer tips and advice on how to help your loved one when they’re facing a medical crisis like a stroke or other brain injury.
One of the biggest fears on the path of recovery from a stroke and/or brain injury is reverting. In this episode, Joe and Lauren discuss their own personal struggles and fears with reverting either in their recovery progress or reverting back to bad habits and negative mindsets they had before their brain injuries. They cover the importance of reframing, accepting their new “normal” and celebrating every victory no matter how small it may seem. Various characters throughout fiction and fandom, who have famously battled reverting on their hero’s journey, are also explored.
“Be the hero of your own story, but not as your origin story for being a villain.” The super villains discussion continues from last week’s episode in today’s episode 7, part 2 of 'Chillin With The Villains'. Joe and Lauren compare one-note villains to villains with purpose and try to pinpoint what characteristics make a villain truly great. They also touch on some of Joe’s recovery stories that relate to his favorite villains. Who’s your favorite villains and why?
We all have villains we love to hate. The main thing that makes a super villain great is their relatability. As the Joker once said to Batman, “all it takes is one bad day, that’s how far the world is from where I am.” In this episode, Joe and Lauren discuss their favorite villains in comics and cinema from Loki to Mr. Freeze to The Terminator to Killmonger. They also touch on the power of the mind to create your own inner villain or hero and how refocusing on the positive versus the negative can be the difference between just surviving and thriving in your brain injury recovery journey.
Who is your support group or mentor on your stroke and/or brain injury recovery journey? In this episode, Joe and Lauren discuss how important it is to reach out for help on the path to recovery. They share the struggles they had with asking for help and how having a support team made the whole recovery process easier to face. Just like every great super hero has a team or mentor, a brain injury survivor hero needs their team and mentors as well so Joe and Lauren delve deep into some of the best super hero and fictional support teams and mentors of all time.
The Avengers: Infinity War trailer just came out this past week and Joe and Lauren have a lot to say about it! In this episode, they share their review of the trailer, predictions for the movie and overall excitement about it’s release. They also get into some memory issues Joe was experiencing this past week and how he coped plus a really special story from one of our listeners who could relate personally to Joe’s latest blog post, 'My Doctor Strange Moment & The Occupational Therapist Who Helped Fix Me.'
Diving more into Joe and Lauren’s nerdom, in this episode, The NeuroNerds cover all their deepest and nerdiest interests from their nerdy nicknames, Hogwarts Houses, their origin stories and more. Joe shares how gaming helped with his recovery and how he came to terms with accepting the scar he sustained from surgery due to his stroke by turning it into a literal badge of honor with a commemorative Harry Potter/Star Wars inspired tattoo. Plus Lauren and Joe share more tips from their recovery processes.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and co-hosts Joe Borges and Lauren Manzano dedicate most of this episode to sharing their brain injury stories as well as spreading more awareness on how to decrease your chance of having a stroke; what to do in the event of a brain injury plus how to know the signs; and post stroke and concussion depression along with other symptoms you may experience after suffering a brain injury.
This is the first episode of The NeuroNerds podcast and in honor of the premiere, this is an extended episode in length. Co-hosts and fellow brain injury survivors, Joe Borges and Lauren Manzano, introduce themselves and share their brain injury stories as well as explain what The NeuroNerds podcast is all about which is to create a community for like-minded nerds and fans of pop culture who have suffered from brain injuries.