This week’s episode of Birmingham Shines features a conversation with Dr. Julian Maha, an emergency medicine physician and co-founder of KultureCity, an impact driven and award-winning nonprofit that is based in Birmingham but with a global presence.
Dr. Maha and his wife conceived the idea for KultureCity after their oldest son was diagnosed with autism several years ago.
KultureCity is designed to be a real community of volunteers and supporters who work to help families directly and to be advocates for the types of systemic change that will help individuals with autism achieve and live out their full potential as human beings.
The teasers tell you a little bit about what Julian and I talked about, but he also shared two specific stories of how care and the right interventions helped two young men with autism move from being essentially ignored by society to valuable contributors. One of these young men earned a Ph.D. in physics. The other is now well-adjusted and working at Panera Bread, even though he’s still non-verbal.
We also talk about some of the research that’s being done to better understand the causes of autism, including the role of environmental factors as genetic triggers.
You’ll find links and full show notes to this episode at http://BirminghamShines.com, where you can also sign up to get email updates, subscribe to the show or even download it for your audio library if you want to keep a copy.
A special thank-you to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for letting us record this conversation outside on a beautiful day last week.
Connect with Kulture City: http://www.kulturecity.org/
Isn’t it awesome to hear the stories of nonprofits right here in Birmingham who are working hard to bring about positive change to our city, state and world and to make life better for everyone, through service and caring. If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll go back and listen to episode 32, which features Jason Carroll of Red Mountain Grace, another nonprofit that’s working to help families who are facing medical challenges. But they offer an entirely different type of service. And episode 28 features a conversation with Nelson Brooke about the work of the Black Warrior Riverkeeper to protect one of Birmingham’s main sources for drinking water and a major economic engine in west central Alabama.
I hope you’ll do something this week that makes you shine--and that makes the world a brighter place for everyone.
My guest this week is Jason Carroll, one of the co-founders of Red Mountain Grace, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that offers residential space to out of town families in need who must be in Birmingham on an extended basis to receive medical treatment.
As is often the case, the really good part of this episode comes in the last 5 minutes. Before that, Jason and I talk about the organization, the type of hospitality provided by Red Mountain Grace, and how you might get involved. Near the end of our conversation, I asked Jason to share a story about a family served by Red Mountain Grace.
The 38-year-old husband had just been diagnosed with metastatic cancer and the family was among the first to receive residential assistance through Red Mountain Grace. Jason shares a poignant conversation with the couple, who asked why Red Mountain Grace existed.
That family did not get the blessing of a cure, but Jason said that if they had only been able to assist one family, ever, it would have made it all worthwhile.
“If you can be a light for a short time for a family, it’s worth it.” -- Jason Carroll
I hope the big takeaway from this conversation is that everyone can make a difference in some way, large or small. If you listen to many episodes of Birmingham Shines, you’ll often hear that it’s the people who make Birmingham shine.
I think this episode of Birmingham Shines really proves that point.
Find out more about Red Mountain Grace at http://www.redmountaingrace.org