THE REHAB GROUP has pledged €25,000 towards the production costs of a documentary film about Cork teenager Joanne O’Riordan.
The 16-year-old was born with the extremely rare condition Total Amelia, meaning she was born without all four limbs. Earlier this year, O’Riordan delivered the keynote speech at a United Nations conference in New York on women in technology.
She spoke about the difference technology has made to her life and challenged tech experts to build her a robot which could help her live a more independent life. MIT researchers subsequently contacted her to discuss her idea.
The Rehab Group says it is pledging funding and professional support to the filmmaker – O’Riordan’s older brother Steven. The film will focus on the teenager’s life at home and school and follows her on her journey to deliver that keynote UN address.
“Steven and Joanne’s film is a momentous opportunity to share the incredible story of a young determined girl and her family,” explained Rehab Group CEO Angela Kerins. “It is a chance to show people how those with disabilities can and do overcome challenges.”
The documentary, No Limbs, No Limits, will also feature interviews with Joanne O’Riordan’s family and experts who have worked with her through the years.
The production had recently appeared to be in jeopardy after the Irish Film Board turned down its application for funding.
Steven O’Riordan said he was “thrilled” with the Rehab Group’s support for the film project. “Joanne’s story is not only an interesting one, but it’s also an important one,” he said. “Thanks to Rehab’s generous support, this story can now be told.”