The NeuroNerds
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At 39 years old, Joe Borges suffered a stroke in 2016 which, interestingly enough, changed his life for the better. He ended up gaining a new lease on life and now he is on a mission to live it to the fullest. Inspired to share his experience with other stroke and brain injury survivors along with anyone else who will listen, he created 'The NeuroNerds' podcast. He along with his co-host, Lauren Manzano, who is also a brain injury survivor, talk recovery, offer tips for coping and thriving.

Plus they're both big nerds and fans of all things comics, movies and pop culture which is always an underlying theme in every episode. Laugh, learn, cry, be uplifted and inspired by Joe, Lauren and the various guests featured on 'The NeuroNerds'.

Big Thank You To Our Patreon Supporters:
Julie Lujano
Sarah Conaway
Rickey Lumpkin
Zeke Willard
Naomi Amaha-Gollnick
Nadeem Mirza
Brian Haapala

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 38 - Don't Compare Yourself To Other Turtles

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 37 - Changes

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 36 - The Halloween Edition

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 35 - Blade and Buffy and Morbius, Oh My!

    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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 34 - Coping with Post-Stroke & Neuro-Fatigue

    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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 33 - Imposter Syndrome

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 32 - The NeuroJedi High Council

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 31 - Connecting Monster-verses and Other 'Verses'

    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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 30 - Viggo Mortensen and Other Nerd Kings

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 29 - Quest for a New Therapist with Guest Co-Host Bethany Noelle

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 28 - Interview with The Three Stromies

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 27 - Let's Get Physical

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 26 - Joe's Stroke-iversary Part II: Recovery

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 25 - It's Joe's Stroke-iversary

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 24 - Disney Princess Hair Magic

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 23 - Mimi And The Brain

    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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 22 - SD Comic Con 2018 with NeuroNerd Field Reporter Ash

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 21 - IT is Nerdy Cosmic Horror

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 20 - Favorite Families of Nerdom

    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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 19 - JoeSoloRocks Birthday Edition

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 18 - Lauren's Late To The Last Jedi Party

    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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 17 - Teamwork + Survivor Summit?

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 16 - The NeuroNerds Are Here To Help

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 15 - Going Mental

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 14 - Infinity War Processing Part 2

    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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 13 - Stroke Awareness & Infinity War Processing Part 1

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 12 - Reunited And It Feels So Good

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 11 - Joe Solo Rocks

    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 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!

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 10 - Coachella & The Healing Power of Music

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 9 - Super Hero Support Systems

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 8 - Reverting on the Hero's Journey

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 7 - Chillin With The Villains Part 2

    “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?

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 6 - Chillin With The Villains Part 1

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 5 - In Search of Your Yoda Or Dumbledore

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 4 - Finding The Infinity War Hero In You

    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.'

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 3 - Strokepool and Bat Widow

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 2 - March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month

    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.

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    The NeuroNerds: Episode 1 - Introducing Joe & Lauren

    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.

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