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3: Defying Disability- The Brooke Ellison Story

Podcast Show Notes

Series5 Episode 3


In this episode I talk to Brooke Ellison. At age 11,Brooke Ellisonwas hit by a car, an accident that left her paralysed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator. Ten years later, she graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a degree in cognitive neuroscience. At 23, she pennedMiracles Happen, a memoir that was adapted into a movie,The Brooke Ellison Story, directed by Christopher Reeve. Brooke went on to earn her MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a PhD in sociology from Stony Brook University. Today, she is a tenured professor at Stony Brook, a motivational speaker, and a human rights activist.

“Disability is an identified qualifier for my life, but I am neither diminished nor circumscribed by it.” Brooke Ellison, PhD

We cover:

·Brooke’s accident and life-changing injuries

·Her journey in to academia

·Defying disability and changing people’s perspective.

·Helping others with her work

Find Brooke:



  • Associate professor of health policy and medical ethics, Stony Brook University, NY
  • Policy & ethics expert in stem cell research (served on theEmpire State Stem Cell Board for 7 years)

·VP of Tech Access atUnited Spinal Association

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