I found Mark O'Brien’s story interesting, encouraging, educational and an example of what attitude and tenacity can accomplish.
Mark O'Brien contracted polio in 1955 and spent the rest of his life paralyzed requiring an iron lung. From age 6 Mark O'Brien, writer, poet and subject of the Academy Award-winning "Breathing Lessons" had the use of just one muscle in his right foot, one muscle in his neck and one in his jaw.
In the iron lung he attended UC Berkeley and produced his poetry and articles with the assistance of Sip/Puff Switch technology on his personal computer. Mark was an advocate for people with disabilities.
Mark also was a journalist and co-founded a small publishing house, Lemonade Factory, dedicated to poetry written by people with disabilities. Mark did not let having scarcely an intact muscle in his body deter him from living independently and overcoming his challenges in order to accomplish his goals.
Mark O'Brien died of complications from bronchitis July 4, 1999 at age 49 however from what I have read he did not let his challenges prevent him from experiencing and living life to the fullest.
You can learn more about Mark O'Brien (poet) on Wikipedia.
What did you learn from reading Mark O'Brien’s story? Do you have examples of others who despite their challenges have overcome or adapted to accomplish their goals? Do you have any other comments you want to share?
Global Dialogue Center