Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Quentin Kenihan a fellow Brittle Bones survivor

23 Nov 2012Hi, It’s Jodie Owen here, AKA Jo Blogs, reporting from my temporary new home in Adelaide. Since getting out and seeing my first live AFL football match, the weather has improved immensely and the days are becoming longer and more pleasant. I have been able to see some more of the sights this gorgeous city has to offer, which I’ve really enjoyed. And I look forward to doing even more once summer hits!

Being born with such a rare genetic disorder has always intrigued me to meet and learn about others who share my disability. So when I saw that Quentin Kenihan, a fellow Brittle Bones ‘survivor’ was on Facebook, I had to ‘friend’ him!

For those who haven’t heard of this amazing man, let me fill you in. First, we need to jump back a few decades. Quentin rose to Australian fame back in the 1980’s, when a reporter named Mike Willesee interviewed a very young Quentin on his current affairs program. Quentin captured Mike’s heart, along with the rest of Australia, with his strong will and determination, despite suffering from a painful disability, which leaves him battling a life of broken bones and numerous hospital admissions. A bond was formed, and the two shared a special friendship, which blossomed over the years.

As I’m personally interested in pursuing a career in media, Quentin has always stood out to me, and has been someone that I’ve looked up to over the years. Due to his celebrity status, he’s also allowed me to describe my disability to strangers more easily; ‘You know Quentin? Well, I have what he has, but not as severe’ – once I tell people that, they know exactly what I’m talking about.

Quentin studied film and drama at University, which has allowed him to produce and star in many television shows, in addition to running his own production company ‘Q Productions’ for the past 12 years. Life as a busy filmmaker isn’t easy, especially when your health isn’t at its best.

Unfortunately for 37 year old Quentin, due to his tiny frame of less than 3 feet, his lungs don’t have the amount of space they require, to function regularly, which causes breathing difficulties. As the years move forward, Quentin’s breathing complications have progressed, and he now requires oxygen to help him breathe.

While the oxygen has been abundantly helpful in assisting him breathe, it has also posed a challenge for him to leave the comfort of his home, carting around oxygen tanks etc. I recently saw a post from Quentin on his Facebook page, where he wrote about a fundraising event that he was holding. Intrigued, I emailed him, asking if I could find out what the fundraiser was for, if I could attend and possibly get an interview of him. To my amazement, he obliged!

I was so excited to finally have the opportunity to interview a man who I have idolised throughout my entire life, who has always given me hope to focus on the future, and strive for my goals, no matter what obstacles came my way; if he could do it, then so could I.

It turned out that the fundraiser was to help Quentin buy a breathing apparatus, which would allow him to travel and get around more freely, without having to worry about the constant need of oxygen tanks. He chose to hold a screening of the movie Looper, starring Bruce Willis, at a movie theatre in Adelaide, with the proceeds of ticket sales going towards his much needed new oxygen machine.

I prepared myself by researching all I could about Quentin and coming up with some interesting questions to ask him. I got my hands on a camera, and grabbed my husband, Todd (my cameraman), and we headed off to the movie showing.

Todd and I arrived, and Quentin greeted us at the ticket collection area of the theatre. We went inside and took our seats to watch the movie. The audience mostly consisted of friends and supporters of Quentin’s.

Once the film had concluded, and Quentin had farewelled all of his guests, it was time for my interview. I was pretty nervous, being in the presence of someone I admire so much, and I even forgot some of my vital questions, but as they say ‘the show must go on’ and that it did. I was pretty satisfied with mine and Todd’s combined efforts, and I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed conducting it.

Thanks for keeping up to date with me and what I’m doing here in SA, and I’ll let you know what’s happening in the future, when I get to undertake more interesting and exciting adventures in the life of Jodie. Ciao for now!

To view my interview with Quentin, simply click on this link: http://youtu.be/6K8unpA4QzQ

After his fundraising event, Quentin reached his goal of raising $5000, and has since purchased his oxygen concentrator, which he was very grateful for.


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Previous Comments

indira from gayndah posted on 22 May 2015
im a big fan of Quentin my mum and Granma have meet him I am doing a biography on him for English.

gayle scott from wagga wagga posted on 26 Nov 2012
I really love this guy since i 1st saw him with Mike Willisee, last night i saw him again & flash backs of his operations made me cry buckets this little boy (now a man)went through so much pain. I think of him quite often & i think where is Quintin i havnt seen or heard from him in a long time i hope he is ok so last night i was so happy to see him again love you mate xoxox

Kay from Sydney posted on 25 Nov 2012
Quentin is a wonderful demonstration of courage in the face of adversity. He is just as touching and humorous today as he was 30 years ago despite his disability.

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