Seven-year PMCer Jonathan “Jothy” Rosenberg is an amputee, long distance cyclist, corporate CEO, cancer survivor, and motivational speaker.
When Rosenberg was 16, he lost his leg to osteogenic sarcoma, a form of bone cancer.
Rosenberg lost his leg in 1973, before chemotherapy was widely used as a treatment for cancer. Three years later, when the cancer metastasized to his lung, Rosenberg was enrolled in a chemotherapy clinical study. He was 19 and a sophomore in college. Despite the surgery to remove the cancerous lung, and a 10-month dose of extreme chemotherapy, Rosenberg was told he had no chance of survival.
“I quit school, got in my car, drove to Alta and got a job as a ski bum. I said to myself, ‘If I’m going to die, I’m going to do it skiing.’ I skied for 100 days straight. When the snow melted, I wasn’t dead, so I went back to college, then went to graduate school, then got my PhD in computer science and have started five companies,” Rosenberg recounts. “After having spent five years thinking each day could be my last, I realized I was going to live.”
Rosenberg, 52 has founded and/or run 6 high tech startups in Boston in 13 years including two that have been sold for over $100M each.
Rosenberg became a cyclist after a friend sympathized that he’d never be able to ride long distances. “I took it as a challenge,” Rosenberg said. “At first it was really hard. I rode in circles. I kept pushing on.”
Rosenberg does not ride with a prosthetic and has just one pedal on his bike. He is also an avid swimmer participating in events like the Alcatraz swim across San Francisco Bay.
Check out this video. Rosenberg inspires us all. His message is to motivate others to see that anything is possible, and you are not limited by a disability.
Learn more about Rosenberg on his blog.
Rosenberg has also written a book titled “Who Says I Can’t?” that will be available on amazon.com at the end of May, with 25 percent of the proceeds going to the PMC.