Radio Love Fest

TL;DR – My heart and I were featured on Radiolab. My heartbeat still drives me nuts.


(This is an uber belated post as this took place last May, in 2015, but that’s how my life is right now. C’est la vie!)

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to write about this experience and all I can thing about is my how my heartbeat continues to pound away, reverberating throughout my body, drawing my focus away from the task at hand. Needless to say, my relationship with my heart is still…complicated.

That being said, I am so incredibly humbled to have been on Radiolab. I think they are pretty much one of the coolest things to ever exist in this world and I still can’t believe they wanted to tell my story.

The story behind the story started in the fall of 2014 when I was catching up with my friend (and Radiolab producer) Molly Webster. I was bitching to her about my “bionic heartbeat” and I think I told her that she/Radiolab should do a story on what it’s like when things in your body you aren’t normally aware of start making themselves known. Little did I know this would lead to my very own episode.

I actually forgot all about our conversation until mid-March when Molly texted me that she mentioned my heartbeat in a staff meeting and it peaked Jad’s interest. Next thing I knew I was in the studio with the two of them, recounting my life story. We talked for hours. And then I came back another day and we talked for hours again. I realized afterwards that it was the first time I had told my story from start to finish in one sitting. All this time pre- and post-surgery, I’ve been updating friends and family piecemeal, but I’d never started from square one. It was an emotional and cathartic experience.

My story was part of a live show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music called RadioLoveFest. Even though I’d listened to Radiolab many, many times, I still had no idea what to expect when I entered the Gillman Opera House that night for the show. There were four stories in the program, highlighting four different Radiolab producers, mine was up second.

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It was such a moving experience to sit there and hear my story told in such a sonically rich format. The team at Radiolab had enlisted a group called SO Percussion to provide a live score to Molly’s script. The result was a beautiful tapestry of words and beats alternately pushing you forward and pulling you back in the sonic landscape. I can’t even begin to describe it any more than that, so you’ll just have to listen for yourselves (but not while driving – you’ll see what I mean).

On a side note, this is the one time in my life I can say that I’ve opened for Oliver Sacks.


After the show with Molly Webster and Jad Abumrad.






  1. ellen.f.hunt

    Summer dear,

    I am so happy to have heard from you and have an update. I listened to the show which is wonderful and very moving.

    Am sending love and hugs to you and your Mom. Please take as much as you want and pass the rest along to your Mummy.

    All wishes to you in 2016,


  2. Karrie Zylstra

    I agree with Ellen! And I also thought of you just the other day when watching a viral video about a wedding haka. Have you seen that? Where they pound their chests and stomp their feet in this primal heart beat work up sort of way? It reminded me so much of that show and your heart beat.

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