ATEC - Episode 61: A Family Survival Story: Prosthesis, Recovery, and Resilience ft. Rosalie and Michael Mastaler

Episode 61: A Family Survival Story: Prosthesis, Recovery, and Resilience featuring Rosalie and Michael Mastaler

When Hunter became an amputee at just 4 years old his parents, Rosalie and Michael Mastaler, had to negotiate a host of feelings including guilt, grief, and worry for how their son would adapt. The loss of his lower leg altered their lives and how they cared for him but Rosalie and Michael soon realized that the most powerful tool they could offer Hunter was resilience. They understood that they had to avoid feeling sorry for Hunter so he wouldn’t in turn feel sorry for himself. 


Hunter is now 10, is a competitive swimmer, and has been able to connect with other amputees and differently-abled children, as well as travel across the country to attend various conventions and events. Though losing his limb was a painful experience, one that has forever changed his and his family’s life, they have been able to learn more about their strengths, cope with their differences, and become closer as a family than ever before.

Michael Mastaler spent about ten years being a police officer in Rialto, CA, working on the SWAT team, Gang unit and also the K9 Unit. He is now a pilot and plans to fly for commercial airlines in the near future. He enjoys playing golf, going to baseball games, and spending time with his boys.
Rosalie Mastaler is a mother of three young boys. She stays at home, working part time as a private music teacher, and also a travel agent. She is currently working on becoming a published author for both a children’s book and a memoir. She loves to travel, craft, sing and play the piano, and spend time with friends.



I’m a writer, a teacher, a native New Yorker, and I love hearing about people’s lives. When I think back to my elementary school days at PS 20 in Flushing, Queens whenever we began social studies or a history lesson I wasn’t that interested in learning about battles, topography, or politics. What I wanted to know was how people lived: What their families were like, how they adapted to their circumstances, what they ate, how they celebrated, how they felt.
Sociology became my major at Binghamton University and in my life so far I’ve been an actress, a salesperson, a Zoo Keeper’s Aid, a volunteer animal trainer, an ELL teacher, a mother, and a wife. I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve had, all of which led me to create this podcast which is one of the most rewarding projects I’ve undertaken. I couldn’t ask for a better job than having in-depth conversations with survivors, thought leaders, authors, social justice warriors, and people who believe that we are all connected and then getting to share their stories, insight, and vulnerability with listeners.
I’m so glad you’ve landed on this page. I hope you find stories here which resonate with you and that you’ll tune in every week. 
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ATEC (Episode 10) (ATEC Pin 3)