Who Says I Can’t Foundation founder Jothy Rosenberg was 16 when he lost his right leg to deadly bone cancer and 19 when the cancer spread to his lungs. Things got even worse when his doctor warned: “When this cancer metastasizes, no one has survived.” That’s when young Jothy left home to become a ski bum until he dropped dead.

IMG_0792 - Version 2But 40 years later, Jothy Rosenberg is not only still alive, he’s living life to the fullest and helping others do so too! In his inspirational, life-changing talks, he reveals the powerful, actionable steps he used to beat the odds, put his life back together, and not just survive, but thrive! “I don’t just tell people how to deal with extreme challenges and come out better and stronger than ever, I show them exactly how to do it,” says Jothy, who devotes his life to helping people move from “I can’t” to “I CAN!”

In fact, since his doctor spoke those grim words years ago, Jothy has earned a Ph.D. in computer science, started eight high-tech companies, sold two of them for over $100 million dollars, married and had two kids, become an extreme athlete in skiing, open water swimming and long distance biking, and written four books. Now he has started The Who Says I Can’t Foundation to help those recently disabled get back into a sport they love. Featured on NBC’s Today show in 2007 and again in 2011, he’s also developed a reality TV series based on his best-selling memoir Who Says I Can’t. Today, through his speaking engagements and books, Jothy combines his entrepreneurial know-how with his gift for inspiring others. “My talks are not about cancer or disability,” says Jothy. “Those were the things that knocked me flat for a while, but no one is left untouched by some sort of life knock-down from which they need to bounce back.” You’ll leave Jothy’s life-changing talks filled with hope and confidence that you can beat any obstacle life throws your way.

Who Says I Can’t:

Does your group need a positive, inspirational story from an ordinary person who triumphed over a life-threatening situation? In this lively talk, Jothy tells the story of an everyman who overcame almost unbearable odds. Unlike talks by celebrity motivators, this talk is for everyday people who find it hard to identify with politicians, movie stars, or Olympic athletes, but can relate to a powerful story of how someone just like them beat the odds. You’ll learn how Jothy used sports to repair his self-esteem and regain his self-confidence, and you’ll watch an exciting video that shows him in action as he participates in extreme sports. Group after group has been brought to tears before they were brought to their feet cheering and everyone leaves this talk resolving to remove the word “can’t” from their vocabulary and their lives.

Jothy Rosenberg is an entrepreneur who has founded and/or run high-tech startups since 1988. He’s the author of three successful technical books, and the inspirational Who Says I Can’t, the story of how, as a two-time cancer survivor, he used sports to regain his self-esteem and rebuild his life. Jothy is a frequent speaker at corporate conferences, universities, medical centers, schools and clubs, and has appeared at events for ESPN, Netflix, First American Title, Massachusetts General Hospital, Duke Medical Center, The Naval War College, Boston University, and many others.

A sought-after media guest, Jothy has been featured on The Today Show, Fox, CBS radio and in USA Today, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Herald. He’s a black-diamond skier, Class IV-V whitewater rafter, open water swimmer (21X Alcatraz Sharkfest finisher), and has raised over $120,000 for the world-renowned Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Pan-Mass Challenge bike-a-thon. Jothy has received numerous awards, including the Heroes Among Us Award from the Boston Celtics and the Katie Lynch Inspirational Speaker Award from the Lynch Foundation. He’s the creator and host of the TV series Who Says I Can’t on YouTube, which features stories of incredible men and women who have suffered a life knock-down but used sports to rebuild their lives.

For Any Group

Inspirational keynote

Synopsis: Knocked down by three crises as a teenager (loss of leg, loss of lung, death sentence from metastasized cancer), and having to cope with all of this plus a year of chemotherapy as a college sophomore, Jothy fought back using sports to regain his self-confidence and to over-achieve, to the point where he became a highly competitive (some say extreme) athlete (with no regard for disability), and applied that self-confidence to other aspects of life earning a PhD, authoring three successful technical books, and becoming a serial high-tech entrepreneur. With a 43-year perspective he conveys simple but powerful (and frequently funny) lessons for how to survive, thrive and ultimately give back to not only overcome what knocks you down or holds you back, but to do better than you or anyone around you thought remotely possible. Specific themes from the book are highlighted through the telling of funny but inspiring stories:

Pretty good…considering is actually demeaning
A series of little victories ends up being really big
Building self-confidence back after a knock-down is critical
Normal schnormal…there’s no such thing as normal
Can’t is not an acceptable vocabulary word
Giving back is natural once you’ve given to yourself
Becoming an inspiration has to be an accident

His 4 min video, shown at the end of his talk, will motivate everyone in the audience to “get up and go do it” and never ever whine or make excuses again.

Length: 45 – 60 minutes
Fee: $1500 non-profits, $2500 for-profits. Out-of-pocket expenses additional outside Boston metro area.
Booking: Send email to jothy@whosaysicant.org with date requests

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For Schools (elementary, junior high & high school)

Understanding Our Differences

Synopsis: For kids Jothy gets especially interactive. He challenges them about what they would do if their friend suddenly got knocked down hard, was in the hospital, was changed and had to deal with a disability. He shows them his prosthesis and tells the story about how he came about needing it. The kids stay glued to their seats as they hear the heart-rending story that still keeps a constant optimistic and sometimes funny backdrop. He teaches kids what it takes to fight back against limitations life or others place on us. To keep things moving and the kids engaged, he inserts his ~4 min video of his extreme (one-legged) sports exploits in the middle of the talk. After some Q&A to let the kids get their pent up questions in, he does some demonstrations that totally wow the kids. At the end, when every kid gets a blue plastic wrist band that says “Who Says I Can’t” the kids vow to eliminate the word Can’t from their classes and their lives.
Audience: Kids from 2nd grade through high school seniors have enthusiastically received his talks.
Length: 30 – 45 minutes
Fee: Elementary school: $250. Junior/Senior High: $500. (Honorarium paid to The Who Says I Can’t Foundation.) Travel expenses added outside Boston area.
Booking: Send email to jothy@whosaysicant.org with date requests