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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 18 December, 2014

Blind, paralysed…and bald: But Mark Pollock’s TEDx talk is about possibilities, not problems

And it’s absolutely inspiring.


“Ladies and gentlemen, I have got problems.

“I’m blind, I’m paralysed, I’m bald and I’m from Northern Ireland.”

MARK POLLOCK, THE adventurer who has conquered some of the world’s toughest marathons despite being blind, admits that he has problems. Having gone blind, he was subsequently paralysed after an accident.

Either one of those problems would keep many people down, but Pollock is excited about the possibilities, not held back by his problems.

Last month, Pollock told his incredible story at the TEDx Hollywood event, hoping to raise awareness of needs to be done to help people in wheelchairs.

He has become the world’s leading test pilot of Esko Robotic Legs.

In the talk, Pollock talks about his blindness, his paralysis and being “genuinely broken”.

“For the next 16 months, I was in hospital and found out about the real, obvious problems of paralysis.”

However, he is far from broken now. He says he was inspired by former Superman actor Christopher Reeve and how every day he goes to the gym to walk “thousands of steps” in his robotic legs.

He has now taken 300,000 steps in the legs. He goes on to talk about the research that is ongoing and calls on people to get involved.

The talk is uplifting, inspiring and moving.

Take 13 minutes and watch it.

Read: A year in robotic legs: paralysed adventurer hits new milestone

Read: Blind adventurer to give TED talk on hope four years after becoming paralysed

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