Mark's Story

Mark’s Story

Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark went on to compete in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including being the first blind person to race to the South Pole. He also won silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games and set up a motivational speaking business.

In 2010 Mark was left paralysed after falling from a second story window. He is now exploring the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery combining an innovative electrical stimulator from NeuroRecovery Technologies to super-charge his nervous system while walking hundreds of thousands of steps in his Ekso Bionics robotic legs. Through the Mark Pollock Trust (www.markpollocktrust.org) he is on a mission to find and connect people around the world to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

Selected by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader and appointed to the Global Futures Council on Human Enhancement, Mark is on the Board of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (USA) and is a Wings for Life Ambassador (UK). He has written the book Making It Happen and is the subject of the acclaimed documentaries called Blind Man Walking and Unbreakable. In addition, he is a Davos, EG, Wired and TEDx Hollywood Speaker and is the co-Founder of the global running series called Run in the Dark (www.runinthedark.org).

He has been awarded the Trinity College Alumni Award and honorary doctorates by The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Queen’s University Belfast. In addition, he holds a diploma in Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century from Harvard University and degrees from Trinity College Dublin and The Smurfit Business School.

Mark’s Story: Highlights

The following section is a timeline illustrating highlights of Mark’s story in images and videos.

2017

Working at the intersection where technology and humans collide

Mark Pollock combines robotics, a bionic spine and exploration of other interventions to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

2015

Exploring the space between skeleton and skin

Mark is featured in award-winning Newstalk documentary following the exploration to fast-track a cure for paralysis.
Listen to the Futureproof documentary

2010

Mark falls in a tragic accident

Mark falls from a second story window and breaks his back, leaving him paralysed.

2009

Following in the footsteps of Scott and Amundsen

A picture of Mark planting his flag of faces at the South Pole, with other national flags in the background framed by the snow

Mark becomes the first blind man to race to the South Pole.

South Pole

Mark and his teammates training for the South Pole race.

1998

At just 22, Mark loses his sight

Mark goes on to compete in ultra endurance races across deserts, mountains, and the polar ice caps including winning silver and bronze medals for rowing at the Commonwealth Games.

Mark’s talk still resonates with our European Sales Team. He started a conversation about challenging conventional wisdom that is ongoing at Google. And with over 20 nationalities in the room he reached them all.

Head of SMB Sales

Google

I was honored to meet with Mark Pollock in Ireland this year, where we engaged with teachers and students at St. Patrick’s College to discuss the ways technology is changing how students learn. Mark is an extreme adventurer and athlete who has raced to the South Pole — and even more incredibly, he was the first blind man to ever do so.
Mark is a brilliant example of the fact that we can always achieve more than what we think is possible.

Satya Nadella, CEO

Microsoft