Blind Man Walking. RTE 1, Tonight, 10:30pm.

Our South Pole Race documentary is on tonight.
It tells the story of my attempt to deal with my loss of sight by racing to the south pole – ten years on from
going blind.
My broken back and future uncertainty takes nothing from the moment in time
captured by Ross Whitaker (film maker) .

If you watch it tonight you will see why I wouldn’t have even hit the start
line without Simon O’Donnell by my side every step of the way.
Thank you everyone who touched the project in any way, big or small.
Having been to the South Pole is making lying in hospital nearly bearable.

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110 Responses to “Blind Man Walking. RTE 1, Tonight, 10:30pm.”


  1. 1 Jessica September 6, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Mark I’d like to wish u a speedy recovery and to let u know people that you don’t even know are thinking about you and are praying for you. I just want you to know ur in our thoughts. After watching ur documentry we googled u and wer very very upset to read of your fall. Big hugs 
    Jess X 

  2. 2 Karl September 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Inspirational feature on RTE – sorry to hear of your accident. If anyone can get better it would be yourself. Stay strong.

  3. 3 Mike Egan September 6, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Mark, I’ve just finished reading a book on Tom Crean and his expedition’s to Antarctica. The book conveys the difficulty in getting to the South Pole a hundred years ago. One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for you physically and emotionally. A true inspiration to mankind and I wish you a speedy recovery. You are an inspiration.

  4. 4 John Brady September 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Well Done! Saw the program on RTÉ, it was very very inspirational.

  5. 5 John Enright September 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Hey mark… Really enjoyed the documentary tonight… Really sorry to hear about your accident at the end though!!! So just want to wish you well and the best of luck in your recovery!!!

    John

  6. 6 Samantha Mooney September 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    I just watched the program on RTE and I have only 2 words…..Truly Inspirational.

    The very best wishes Mark for your future health and happiness

  7. 7 Alan September 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Inspirational program. Sorry to hear about the accident. I know you will pull through and move forward again – you already did it once.

  8. 8 grainne September 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Mark,
    I just wanted to say how amazing I think you are. I hope all goes well with your recovery.
    My best wishes to you and yours.
    Grainne.

  9. 9 Shane September 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Just after watching your documentary Mark. I am nearly unspeakable. truely inspiring. I wish you even more success in the future and a speedy recovery.

    Yours, Shane.

  10. 10 Ann September 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Just watched the show “blind man walking” really hope Mark is recovering from his accident, what a inspiring strong human being he is!!! hope he makes a good recovery.

  11. 11 Cliff Cahill September 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Amazing Story, You are a true legend

  12. 12 Fiona Keane September 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Watching this wonderful film about your south pole race as I send this to you….just wanted to say its a really inspiring piece of work and nicely shot too.

    Thinking of you and its great to follow your blogs..wishing you continued recovery and lots of laughter along the way!

    Hi to Simone too and look forward to meeting ye guys again.

    Big hug, fiona

  13. 13 barnaville September 6, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Well done Mark, I watched your documentary, it was inspiring. I was shocked to hear about your accident and hope you make a full recovery. It lifts my heart to hear about people who don’t let anything keep them down. Get well soon buddy, and may you have many more adventures.

    Barnaville.

  14. 14 Deirdre September 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Mark, I just watched the programme and it was truly inspirational. Best of luck with your recovery I truly believe that attitude (aka grim determination!) can get us through some tough times, and you clearly have the right attitude, and grim determination by the truck-load!

  15. 15 Cathy O Flaherty September 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Mark, just finished watching the documentary about your race to the south pole – what an amazing feat. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish, hoping you would get the sponsorship, get started,finish safely, that your friend would be able to continue despite his frost bite – and to see you dancing with your peoples flag at the end was just fantastic.
    It was a brilliant achievement for you all.

    I know now you are going thru a hard time so I just want to say you are an amazing person, and are surrounded by amazing family and friends and I, and everyone who alrady knows you and the thousands of new fans you made tonite after watching this programme will be sending every good wish your way,
    Best of Luck,
    Cathy

  16. 16 Matt September 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Mark ye aul’ legend. Watched the amazing documentary about your south pole adventure but was completely stunned and gutted at the end of that great program to hear about your fall. We’re all hoping you will soon be back on your feet again… Keep the faith. Best wishes and God speed on your recovery from Matt, Lyn and baby Paddy in Ringsend.

  17. 17 Alan B September 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I watched the programme with great interest having heard you talk on radio about the race before and more recently been aghast at your recent misfortunes. It seems inadequate to describe your strength of mind and body as ‘inspirational’ – however that is indeed what it is. Have no doubt that those are qualities which will conquer your latest challenge.

    Be aware of all the positive thoughts I can muster in your recovery.

    Alan

    PS – fair play to Simon, enjoyed watching him with Clontarf FC for several years!

  18. 18 Joe Coleman September 6, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Mark,

    Fantastic adventure. Having read about your previous expeditions you are truly an inspiration. You have an extraordinary attitude and approach to life’s challenges and you are an example to all. I only just heard about your accident and my thoughts are with you. Having read your recent blogs it is clear to me that your mind remains in the right zone to deal with this challenge as well – realistic optimism is the way someone else put it and I cant improve on that. My very best wishes to you, Simone and the people close to you both. Joe C.

  19. 19 Yvonne O'Rourke September 6, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Hi Mark,
    You are completely inspirational. I am in awe of you and your achievements. Conquering the South Pole, what an amazing journey. I wish you a speedy recovery – don’t lose hope.
    Best wishes
    Yve

  20. 20 Ann Marie Rivero September 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Mark,
    I am so glad I came upon your documentary tonight and found a real life story of a wonderfully inspirational person. I wish you all the best with your recovery, you deserve to be back out there challenging and enjoying yourself and giving hope to others. You are a great person and I look forward to keeping up with your recovery updates,
    All the best
    Annmarie

  21. 21 Jackie Campbell September 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Mark,
    You are a true inspiration and I pray for your recovery.

  22. 22 clare corry September 6, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    I was told to watch “blind man walking” tonight by my sister in law as she heard that Mark was currently in the same hospital as her nephew who was left paralysed after a car accident in December. I couldn’t believe, opn seeing the start of the programme that Mark was the guy who I saw interviewed on the Late Late show last year. I cried watching the programme knowning that Mark had been injured in July. I pray now for Mark and hope that God will give him back his legs that he so badly needs and loves.
    May you be blessed with that great outlook that you have had for so long and I will continue to pray for you.
    clare

  23. 23 Fiona Dunne September 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    My husband and I have just watched the wonderful documentary on RTE tonight. Congratulations on an incredible achievement; one of many it appears from a brief look at your website!

    We are very sorry to hear of your accident and we both wish you a full and speedy recovery.

    Kind regards.

    Fiona and Gerry Dunne.

  24. 24 Nora September 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Hi Mark , I’m just After watching the documentary about you on rte this evening. You’re a real inspiration to all. Congratulations on all your achievements to date And hope u have a good and speedy recovery and can conquer many other adventures in the future. Get well soon.

  25. 25 julie September 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    hi mark first things first i hope you are doing better and want to give you all my well wishes. secondly i have just watched your documentary and you are truly inspiring, your determination and ambition have totally left me speechless. i guess i just wanted to look you up and let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers and that i only wish i had a fraction of your bravery and ambition. i wish you well on your life journey x

  26. 26 Linda Murphy September 6, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Mark,

    The Murphy family in Cork, just watched your programme on RTE your an inspiration. We will pray that you make a full recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Best of Luck x

  27. 27 Juliana September 6, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Just watched your trek to South Pole. You are amazing!!! I have no doubt that you will do many more amazing thing. Get well soon! I don’t know who wrote this but “When things go wrong as they sometimes will, when the road your trudging is all up hill, when life is getting you down a bit, rest if you must, but don’t you quit”

  28. 28 mags cork September 6, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    just watch the documentry on rte and what an inspiration to us all would like to offer my prayers to him and his family regards mags

  29. 29 Derek kelly September 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    I watched the documentary tonight on rte. I thought it was an amazing story. I was very shocked to see the end credits telling us of your accident. I hope you get better soon. I know that we will see you on the late late show in a few months when you’ll be telling us all about your recovery. You are an inspiration to all.

    Derek
    Greystones.

  30. 30 Olivia September 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    You are an inspiration. We watched you tonight and we stuck by your courage. We are saddened to hear about your current plight but feel that if anyone has the inner strength to overcome and deal with your accident it would be you. Thank you for sharing your story with those of us who get caught up in life’s trivialties. Take care
    Olivia & Declan

  31. 31 Kieran M September 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Mark. Just watched the documentary and can I just say this…. I am a recovering alcoholic with a lovely wife and family. I have my dark days in sobriety and when I saw your mental strength and determination forn that month … you have given me HUGE inspiration. We can do anything if there is a will greater than our own.

    You will have to draw on that higher power now once again. Sometimes I wake up in the bed with three people. me, poor me and why me. Just remember that you are hugely inspiring but you are allowed those days also. As a prayer we say .. God grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can and wisdom to know the difference.

    Let me know if there is anything I can do whether that is just someone to chat to on a down day. Well done on a super human acheivement and I will be talking about you to friends tomorrow. That flag with 500 people will grow exponentially. Keep well and hand it over !! Kieran M

  32. 32 joy redmond September 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    just watched the documentary. Really inspiring. Makes my little tendon injury that’s keeping me out of the boat seem very trivial. All the best with the recovery.

  33. 33 Andrew Penrose September 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

    Mark , I was transfixed by your south pole race this evening and elated at you reaching the goals you strived for. You are an amazing individual!

    I wish you all the best in your recovery.

  34. 34 Siobhan September 6, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Mark I just watched the documentary with my 17 year old son.Your physical and mental strength blew him away – and when you have impressed a 17year old, you know you must have done well! We will be thinking of you in your latest battle against the odds. Whatever happens, keep breathing, keep living, your beautiful and noble life. Siobhan

  35. 35 Fran Mac Donagh September 6, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Mark,

    I have just been watching your south pole adventure with my wife Carol and my eldest daughter Michelle. We thorughly enjoyed it and were really touched by your commitment and endurance. We were devastated to hear about your horrific accident. We want to wish you well and earnestly hope that your recovery allows you to get back to doing what you clearly love.

    Very best wishes and kind regards,

    Fran, Carol and Michelle Mac Donagh

  36. 36 Maud Reardon September 6, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Dear Mark and family,

    my name is Maud Reardon. We met a couple of times while studying at Trinity, I am a friend of Tom Murphy. I just watched your documentary on RTE and read the recent posts on your blog. You are an inspiration and an incredible person and I am praying for your full recovery.

    Stay strong. Someone with your endurance, positivity and strength will surely conquer all.

    Sincerely,

    Maud

  37. 37 Colin D September 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Wonderful documentary mark. I really hope your recovery goes well because the world so needs men like you. Good luck

  38. 38 Elaine September 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Amazing show tonight. Can’t imagine how it felt to achieve it!

    I heard you speak in DIT last year and have been following your progress since.
    Wish you all the best with the recovery.

  39. 39 Laura Dempsey September 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Dear Mark,

    I have just looked at your amazing adventure, training, sheer determination and inspiration that allowed you to complete what most people would not imagine, that is your trip to the South Pole. I don’t think I have ever been as inspired and touched by a story before. You had an amazing team and support behind you.
    I am writing this to hopefully remind you of that courage that lies deep inside you and hopefully you will keep it near the surface and use it to keep your spirits up when you need it most.
    You truely are an inspiration and I will keep abreast on your progress wishing you all the very best every step of the way to your recovery.
    You will be in my prayers along with your family, finance and friends.
    Laura Dempsey

  40. 40 Conor-Martin McCarthy September 6, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Hi mark, I only just stumbled across the documentary tonight.not being one for the dramatisation or comercilisation of true mind over matter triumphs of those whom face genuine adversity in life to achieve what i can only imagine to be an immense euphoria of self actualisation such as the south pole, I was not willing to allow myself to be dragged into another sob story hocked to the masses for profit.I was far from dissapointed.what i enjoyed in return for my attention was more than an adequate dividend.true inspiration by someone who clearly could teach those patient enough to stand still and listen the kind of life appreciation we all could do with.I was heart broken at the close of the documentary and felt ultimatey obliged to visit this site.by endurance you shall conquer for through endurance you have conquered.

    For a true moment of awe I thank you.

    Conor

  41. 41 Niall Creery September 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Mark
    Just watched the show on RTE. It really showed us how bloody difficult that trek was. You 3 guys are an inspiration. I hope you get well soon, Niall, Laois.

  42. 42 elizabeth September 6, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Mark , I imagine you will get many mails following the TV programme tonight. I was so impressed with the three of you but particularily by your courage and determination to overcome a disability.
    At the end of the programme I was horrified to read of your fall what filthy rotten luck! However with support from your lovely family and Simone you will find the strength to meet this with the same courage and spirit. I so hope you become ‘A blind man walking’ again but whatever the outcome remember the world needs people like you to remind us what can be achieved no matter what befalls us.
    I will be following your progress with sincere interest and send you my best wishes.
    Elizabeth Law,Cork,Ireland

  43. 43 John Daly September 6, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Mark, I was entirely unaware of your achievements (my fault!) until I watched the amazing story of your race to the Pole tonight on RTE. I am flabbergasted by what you have so far achieved in your life and by your indominatable spirit. You put us to shame! You are truly an inspiration to us all!

    Reading the credits at the end of the film I was shocked to read of your recent accident and I had to immediately check out the latest news on your recovery. I am sure I am only one of thousands of admirers who wish you a full and speedy recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    In gratitude and admiration,

    John

  44. 44 rory gavin September 6, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    Best wishes buddy.great race yourself and your two friends finnished.don’t forget tom crean the Kerry man,a man of legend.I’m sure u know of him.
    On a different note and Prob doesn’t matter but a guy and friend and adventurer in his own right I new for a short while in new Zealand died the other day in a plane crash. Rod miller.A great guy. He was a master parachuter. Don’t know why I txted this but maybe you understand.
    You are a breath of fresh air and the best of luck to and yours. Rory from galway

  45. 45 Nuala Ni Bhriain September 7, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Hi Mark, watched your documentary this evening – wow! I am blown away by your story and your strength of mind and determination and the super people you have around you. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. Life is tough for so many people these days, in so many different ways. Sharing experiences is what gets us over the really tough times. The school I teach in has the most beautiful views along the southwest coast of Ireland. When you’re up and about again, you might like to experience a bit of that healthy Gulf Stream on a visit to us. We have a North/South exchange going with schools in Downpatrick, Co. Down. Wishing you all the very best in your recovery.
    Nuala Ni Bhriain, Baltimore, Co. Cork
    Guidance Counsellor in Schull Community College, Schull, Co. Cork

  46. 46 Eva September 7, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Dear mark watched your documentary and followed on to read your blogs. Your comments regarding whether to be realistic or optimistic were very interesting. I know that after an accident we try to help the person accept the change. But in doing so do we prevent the belief that anything is possible. Your spirit is so strong already so keep your hope and zest for life. Your story is so inspiring to just get on with things and believe. You will be in my thoughts and prayers now. I hope you can fuse realism and optimism and wish you well in your recovery.

  47. 47 Nadia September 7, 2010 at 12:01 am

    hi mark just saw the programme,you are such an inspiation!!wishing you all the best in a speedy recovery!:)

  48. 48 Aine Power September 7, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Hi Mark,

    Just watched the South Pole race documentary. Just wanted to comment and say how excellent I thought it was and how inspiring you are. I also would like to wish you all the best during your recovery and to send you some good energy.

    All the best,
    Aine

  49. 49 Paul Neill September 7, 2010 at 12:06 am

    Having watched your remarkable journey/achievement this evening I I was shocked and deeply saddened to read of the additional challenges life has put in your way. You are a truely inspirational figure and I sincerely hope and pray that in time you will fully recover and that your positive spirit will also trimuph over this adversity. Looking forward to reading here of your successes over the coming months.

  50. 50 Treasa Bhreathnach September 7, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Hi Mark,
    We’ve never met but I’ve just seen your documentary on the south pole on rte, and just wanted to say that I thought it was just fantastic. It looked like an amazing journey, huge congrats to you and to all involved!

    Lots of luck and the very best wishes on your road to recovery.
    Treasa

  51. 51 ann September 7, 2010 at 12:18 am

    hi mark.. saw blind man walking to night…and was amazed by your achievements and courage….some people live an ordinary life… and think they have problems….while you were out there living an exceptional life.. with real problems……..perhaps you wish different…………. your fall… god.. what a thing to happen.. i am a nurse…all i wish for you. is you get your head and way of thinking in a good place… you have already showed the world what you can achieve against the odds….so i wish you well ….will keep an eye on your news… bless you

  52. 52 catherine September 7, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Hi Mark,

    I watched the programme tonight and you are a true inspiration, i have eyes but dont see the true picture like you do. I am going out tomorrow to buy your book and light a candle for your speedy recovery i was shocked to see at the end of the credits that you had such a freak accident but i know you will be fine and recover slowly,so just enjoy your rest in hospital. God bless you.

    Catherine

  53. 53 Andy Scott September 7, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Amazing story and really compelling documentary. Unbelievable to see such an indefatigable spirit…truly inspirational. All the best with your recovery.

  54. 54 MJ September 7, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Mark,

    I watched Blind Man Walking this evening, and was really inspired by your courage and determination, and shocked to learn of your accident at the end of the program. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you take each new day towards recovery as it comes.

    Best wishes
    MJ

  55. 55 Lorraine September 7, 2010 at 12:57 am

    Just watched the documentary on rte about the race to the South Pole. What an amazing,exciting & exhausting experience it must have been but what an achievement!The determination,training,planning,inner strength,courage,team work,positive attitude and drive to succeed & complete the race was a moving experience to watch and an inspiration to us all.It reminds us all to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, that with some help along the way that we can all aim for bigger goals & with some luck, support, love & belief in ourselves that we may just succeed or at least have given it our all. I just read about your accident Mark & my prayers are with you – Stay strong,keep pushing forward, one goal at a time, accept help from your loved ones & remember the courage,focus & light that you have always found inside yourself(no mountain too high, no storm too fierce, no cloud too heavy)Life leads us down some difficult paths but we choose to stay positive, to love, to laugh & fight it…Best of luck with your recovery.

  56. 56 Caroline Devitt September 7, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Mark,
    Johnny & I watched the documentary last night and it was truly an incredible achievement. You are an adventurer and an inspiration to everyone.
    We are thinking of you these days.
    Best wishes,
    Caroline & Johnny Devitt.

  57. 57 David Rohan September 7, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Well done to you Mark having seen the programme last night you are a true inspiration.My nephew Mark Rohan was paralized from the chest down following a motorcycle accident in 2001 but managed to become world paracycling champion in Canada just two weeks ago,which proves that no matter what the setback the human body will bounce back just as I hope you can.I pray you will make a speedy recovery and put us all to shame again with your exceptional abilities.
    David Rohan.

  58. 58 Brian September 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Mark, just to say congrats on the walk to the pole that program looked amazing, well done to yourself and Simon ,make sure you stop to give yourself a pat on the back sometimes we forget, no doubt that drive and determination will help you now, fight like mad and well done again rgds Brian

  59. 59 Julian September 7, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Hello
    Watched the show last night absolutely fabulous!
    However I am still in shock after reading about your fall.
    Wishing you all the best for a full recovery.
    Regards Julia

  60. 60 Enagh September 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I watched the documentary last night, and I think you are truly a hero and incredibly inspirational. To possess just a fraction of your courage and bravery would be an amazing thing.

  61. 61 Deirdre Dixon September 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Hi Mark,

    I was flicking through the tv channels last night and came across your amazing adventure to the pole. It blew me away, what an amazing challenge for you and your team. When it ended I was elated for you all and filled with happy tears, then I read that you had an accident and are now in the middle of another endurance battle. Reading your blog I know it is tough but there is no doubt in my mind that you have the strength of body and spirit to overcome this and continue your amazing adventure through life.

    My thoughts are with you.
    Deirdre Dixon

  62. 62 mike September 7, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Dear Mark
    I watched your programme last night on TV and was overwhelmingly impressed with your determination. Then I read,during the credits, about your further ‘challenges’.
    I must admit that this is the first time I have ever read a blog let alone write comments on one but I felt that I had to contact you and say that the previous chapter of your life was astounding and I am absolutely sure that the next chapter of your life will be even more impressive.

    You truly are an inspiration.

    Mike Co. Clare

  63. 63 Kieran Whelan September 7, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Hi Mark, My son James and I watched your Antartic Race programme on RTE TV last night. I found it facinating and inspirational. I was saddened to hear of your awful accident and on behalf of the Whelan Family in Sutton,Dublin we wish you well for the future. Fond regards – Kieran, Catherine, James and Claire WHELAN.

  64. 64 Joanne September 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I watched the documentary last night and absolutely loved it. Couldnt wait to see what other adventures you had undertaken in life. I work as a sports disability officer and am always trying to change mindsights of what people with a disability can do, however as an ‘athlete’ myself I am truly astonished to see what training you and your team undertook to reach the south pole. Absolutely amazing. Well done and best of luck with your recovery

  65. 65 Graham September 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Mark,

    Saw the documentary on RTE last night, what an amazing trek and journey. Best wishes to you on a safe and full recovery, you really are an inspiration. You spoke to the company I work for 4 years ago and are still talked about with awe. Wishing you the very best for the future.

  66. 66 Deirdre September 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

    What a show last night! Mark, you’re an inspiration to us all. I have no disabilities and yet if you asked me to do one day of what you did in the Antarctic I think I’d run as fast as I could in the opposite direction!!! You are a true extreme athlete. And I am sure that despite your recent tragic fall, you will go on to prove yourself again and again and live life better than anyone I know.

  67. 67 Carole Long September 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Really enjoyed the programme, a very tough place I’d say !!
    You are some man for one man , well done to you and Simon 🙂
    Hope all works out for you and will be thinking about you .

  68. 68 mary casey September 7, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Hello Mark..I watched the programme last night after my sister in law connie told me you are in the London Clinic with her nephew aged 21 Brian from Roscommon who was in a tragic road accicent last December.. I have not been able to stop thinking of you . The Polar Challenge was amazing. I was glued to the screen . You are amazing and I so admire you .. I dont know you at all but I am so sad for you and what has happened you .. as if life was not hard enough for you.. But i hope and pray that you will be ok.. It is clear you have the mental strenght to survive and a super positive attitude and therefore I hope the physical strength also returns.. If you see Brian today please say hello from all the Caseys in Sixmilebridge.. We are praying for Brian and for you too Mark . Mary .

  69. 69 carrieg September 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Dear Mark. I watached, in awe, the programme about you last night. I couldnt believe what you did – it was incredible. I was on the edge of my seat, hoping, praying that you would finish this emense challenge that you had set for yourself. I tried to imagine what it would be like, but as hard as I tried I could not imagine how you did what you did. I was so proud of you in so many ways. I was so moved when you made it.

    I then saw the update on your circumstances and I read it with utter disbelief and horror at what has happened to you. Surly, I thought, for God Sake, this man has suffered enough. I was genuienly gutted. I have never written to a stranger before, but nor have I been so moved about a fellow citizen. I do not know what to say to you. I do not know if you are a religious person, I hope that you are, but perhaps your faith is being tested at this very time. I too have been tested and now I help children who have been less fortunate than myself. For the past years I have always looked to St. Anthony to help me find strength. I have asked him many many favours and, without fail, he has grandted me each and every one of them in his own time.I will pray to him for you and perhaps you may also ask him to help you find the strength and courage, that you so obviously have within yourself, but may find it hard to bring it out of you right now. I will continue to check on your site to see how you are doing and with time and hope God will answer your prayers. Thinking of you, regards, Caroline

  70. 70 Elizabeth September 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Mark, I watched your documentary last night. Congrats on your achievement. I was sad to hear about your accident, I hope that your recovery is as quick as it possibly can be. You really are an inspiration. Take care.

  71. 71 D September 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    We watched your Documentary last night, myself and my wife we very moved by it. You are an incredible man. We were shocked to hear of your accident. You are one of the few people with the strength to get through this. You are in our prayers.

  72. 72 Debbie September 7, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Have just finished watching the amazing documentary on your endurance trip to the South Pole. I was close to tears at the end thinking of your amazing achievement. I couldn’t believe it when the credits at the end mentioned your terrible accident. I have being going through a hard time lately and wanted to let you know how uplifted and positive I feel after watching the programme.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    Debbie.

  73. 73 katie lawless September 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Mark
    I’m an 18 year old about to start medicine in college. I watched your documentary last night and all I can say is that you are a true inspiration to all of us. Your story moved me emotionally and has inspiried me to seize the day and accept the things we cannot change. You have an unbelieveable outlook and life motto.
    People like you inspire and force us all to take a step back and look at our current situation with new vision. I wish you well in your recovery. Keep up the faith. You truly are an amazing person.
    Katie

  74. 74 Bryan Keaveny September 7, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Just a quick note to congratulate you and your teammates on your superb documentary aired on RTE last night and the absolutely amazing story depicted therein. The film making and production skills of Ross Whitaker also deserve a mention.

    Your spirit for adventure in the face of adversity is truly inspiring to me and has certainly given me a different outlook and a clearer perspective of how to overcome the many obstacles which crop up from time to time.

    Finally, it’s with great sadness that I’ve learned of your recent serious accident and I wish you all the very best and a speedy and successful recovery from your injuries.

    Bryan Keaveny.

  75. 75 Lynn September 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Hello Mark,

    watched your extraordinary story last night and was very saddened to learn of your accident. I hope you are getting better with each and every day, you’re a force of nature and I wish your all the best with all of your future endevours.I’m sure there are many more to come. Will pop in (to the web site that is-not personally-hee hee)and see how you are getting on. All the best Mark

    Lynn

  76. 76 John Sheridan September 7, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Mark, I was dragging myself off to bed when your programme came on RTE last night, I was glued to the programme and blown away by your amazing courage and attitude. As I went to turn off the T.V. the news of your accident came up in captions just before the titles…..like many others I’m sure, I was in shock. You’ve been on my mind all day and I just wanted to say I’m thinking about you. Keep strong

    John

  77. 77 amanda September 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Hi Mark,I watched the documentary last night and thoroughly enjoyed it,especially as I had also watched the English team’s docu of their attempts in the same race. I was shocked to hear of your dilemma now and quickly went to your blog to read up on the latest. I just wanted to say that my thoughts are with you and for you to be positive.Its probably not the best thing to add but thingsa do happen for a reason no matter how bad things seem to you now.Its not the end of the road by any means and you are a strong boy with determination!! Whether you believe in the Angelic realms but there must have been one with you on the night of the fall as you wouldnt be here now, which the way you may be feeling at times you probably wish you werent. Your work here on earth has not finished yet,you have so much more to learn and teach to others. Keep trying Mark, love to your partner and family. Take care. love from Amanda,connemara,west ireland.

  78. 78 Ronan Hennessy September 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I watched the show last night and was absolutely blown away by your determination and courage. It inspired me to push myself like you have and to be a better person like you have. Having learned of your accident I was also left speechless after the show was over.
    You are in my thoughts. Just remember that you’re continued courage and determination to overcome life’s challenges is a true inspiration. I will continue to admire you as a man and an adventurer.

  79. 79 Ciaran September 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Mark you are an absolute inspiration.

    Don’t give up, you will get there.

  80. 80 mark September 7, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    i watched the tv last night u brought a tear to my eye.every body was talking a bout u today about ur courage and BALLS ? life is hard at the momment for every body in ireland but u have put a differnt meaning to life no matter what life throws at u just keep on getting up as my mother all ways say some one is looking after u up there kid keep strong ur a legend regards mark thank for every thing im going to try to keep getting up my self

  81. 81 teresa white September 7, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    just to say that the programme last night was brilliant, but i could not believe my eyes when i read the piece at the end about your fall. i hope that your recovery goes well because your are an inspiration to us all.

  82. 82 jane keogh September 7, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    mark, i just wanted to say what an amazing, moving, inspirational programme that was.
    i have always admired your committment and energy and your strength of spirit.

    i hadn’t heard of your recent accident and so was so saddened to hear of your injuries and that you are literally on the flat of your back.

    i’m sure it’s hard to cope with, but if any one can… you can.

    i wish you a speedy recovery and hopefully everything will go according to plan. it sounds like you are in good hands at the hospital.

    best wishes to you and your family
    jane keogh

  83. 83 Tracey Blanchfield September 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Hiya Mark,
    I watched the programme last night – and was all at once awestruck, humbled, incredulous and inspired. I remember seeing you on a chat show programme, talking about the South Pole Race that you were attempting. I heard, or saw no more of you until last night, I was really pleased when I saw your handsome face on the screen!
    I watched, and as I’ve said was absolutely blown away by you. Your attitude, your determination, your absolute honesty on what was clearly a life defining journey…. Anyway, enough blowing sunshine up your ass.
    Then the credits rolled, and as I turned to my partner and said, ” Oh my God, is there nothing that man can’t do! ” his face changed. I turned to the tv to see what he was reading and I saw on the screen the piece about your accident. I cried.
    I can’t even begin to imagine what you’re dealing with right now. But I do know of the dark place you speak of in your blog. I’ve been there. Maybe I’m still there, I don’t know. I had a boy, his name was Conor. He was the sunshine in my life. He spent the early years of his life in and out of hospital, he was born with a geansai load of medical problems. As he got older, he grew stronger. I konw it sounds silly, but he was the strongest lifeforce I ever met. I drew energy from him, he was like a duracell bunny, always moving, full of smiles, always laughing. We were like two peas in a pod. He was nine years old, just coming up to his tenth birthday, we had given out his party invitations… We went for a drive, Conor and I, one sunny Saturday afternoon. I lost control of the car. Conor died. That was 32 months ago, and there are days, still, when I have serious difficulty lifting my head off the pillow. Did I want to survive? I did not. I wanted to die, go to my boy. But the spirit in me would not break. It bent, and splintered, but it would not break. And I realised that, if one of us had to die that day then I’m glad it was Conor. I would much rather live here, with the pain, than have my boy live without a mammy. My point? I suppose it’s that even when we feel like it would be easier to just die, life just won’t quit. And one of these fine days, it just might get a bit bloody easier!!!
    I’m not comparing my life to yours. I’m just writing to tell you
    that you are my hero.
    Kind regards and bestest best wishes for a full recovery.
    Tracey Blanchfield.

    Tracey Blanchfield.

  84. 84 Evelyn September 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Mark

    I watched your programe on tv last night and was shocked when i read of your accident.. I just wanted to drop you a note to wish you well in your recovery … You appear to me to be one of the most focussed and inspiring people that I have seen or read about .. It seemed so unfair for you to have to go through such trauma .. You are certainly a survivor and it reminded me of Darwins quote that it not the strongest species that survive nor the most intelligent but the ones that are most adaptable to change… You have adapted before and can do so again if needs be…

  85. 85 Susan September 7, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I watched the programme about your south pole expedition last night. It was really great, inspirational. However I wss completely shocked at the end to read about your accident. You have been really set a mental and physical challenge now. Best of luck with your rehab/recovery.

  86. 86 John McKeown September 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    An inspiring program. Glad I watched it and found your website.
    I hope you recover soon and wish you well in the future.

  87. 87 Aidan Doyle September 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Mark, I first came across u about 8years ago at the Liffey descent when u past me in a K2 boat on the way up river to the start in Straffan. Since then I have seen u pop up here and there on the TV and was always very impressed by your story and achievements. I recorded the program on Monday night and only watched it this evening. Fantastic personal achievement and a mighty team behind you.

    I was not aware your accident until the closing credits, I was shocked. Sitting here reading your blogs has deeply upset me. Just want to let you know our prayers and thoughts will be with you at all times in the coming months. I am currently struggling to train for the Dublin marathon and your story has given me a major kick in the arse that I needed. On the 25th October on the start line in Dublin you will be in my thoughts and your spirit will greatly help me in finishing the 26.2miles.

    Keep the chin up,

    Aidan Doyle

  88. 88 Brian Gray September 7, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Mark,
    your focus and drive to reach the south pole is truly inspirational. I met a friend of yours on Monday, one of your endurance running guides from Lucan, unfortunately his name did’nt stick. In 2009 I was paralysed as a result of illness, I fought hard and focused on the future, my life was broken into a set of goals as I battled to regain my bodily function, I am lucky to have regained my mobility. Whilst in the NRH, I convalesced with other people in similar circumstances, everyone was fighting hard to be the best that they can be. I pray and wish that you continue to progress towards a full recovery. It is your mental strength and drive that makes you different from so many others, I pray that you stay strong as you take on this huge challenge.
    Kind regards,
    Brian Gray

  89. 89 Threasa September 8, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Mark ,your documentary was amazing. You’ll get through your next challenge,just as you did your last. No doubt you are mentally strong,take from it. Your flag had 500 people behind you on your expedition. You can now add 501,i’m on it for your next journey, your in my thoughts and prayers,there’s a candle lighting in my neck of the woods for you,your recovery and maybe even the real vision of sight,i wish this for you. Well done! Threasa

  90. 90 Oliver flood September 8, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Mark you are such a special person and I enjoyed every minute of your great adventure shown on rte last night. I had the pleasure of meeting you at a talk you gave in Dublin. I wish you all the best and my thoughts are with you. Your one in a million. Oliver Flood.

  91. 91 Jackie Shannon September 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I just want you to know mark that you are an inspiration to
    us all – l just hope that you are OK –

  92. 92 Lisa Hanna September 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    What an amazing man.. watched your epic race on RTE1 on Monday night, couldn’t believe when I read at the end about your recent accident. Keep well and hopefully you will reach the finish line of this race really soon.

  93. 93 Gary September 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Well Done Mark Simon and Inga (I think), great documentary, how did you do it !
    Fantastic achievement , Mark you truly are inspirational.
    I hope your recovery is going well and trust you will soon be able to conquer your next challenge, whatever it is.
    It seems pointless to say to you, you must be very positive during this part of your life journey as you seem to be the number 1 most Positive person I have ever heard about.
    Best Wishes and hope you have a speedy recovery.
    Will keep an eye on your blog.

    Gary

  94. 94 Bambi September 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Fab documentary Mark.

    You’ve given me a new aim in life; to train hard enough to puke my guts up. That’ll make those corporate type members at the gym take notice and nod to themselves “She’s hard!”, either that or I’ll just be barred.

    I couldn’t help thinking though that somewhere Shackleton, Crean and Scott were looking down on the bunch of you and shaking their heads in wonder thinking “Still man hauling? Didn’t those fools learn anything from us? Nut jobs the lot of ’em”.

    And thinking of Shackleton and how he must have felt after his breakdown on the Discovery expedition, and then again after the on the surface fiasco of the Imperial Trans Antarctic expedition – something that we regard today as his finest achievement – that sometimes, just sometimes, from the darkest hours come the sheer shining moments of true and powerful human experience.

    With love

  95. 95 tony keating September 8, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Hello Mark

    I really enjoyed your programme on the race to the south pole on rte. I have alot of admiration for you. I’m sure there’s many people who have taken alot from your story and wish you all the best in the future..I know I will be following you in your next adventure..

    G luk and take care.

    Tony

  96. 96 Rosemary September 8, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Mark,

    you truly are an incredible man!! thank you for letting us share in your inspirational life, we will be watching this space !! take care + god bless . Rosie

  97. 97 Aoife wilson September 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Hi mark , just watched the documentary about south pole , inspiring stuff . I am so sorry to hear about your situation . Thinking about you at this difficult time , keep up your sense of humour and believe in your self .

  98. 98 Paul Rossiter September 8, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Just watched your documentary last night. Your life makes such an amazing story. You are one of the most incredible people i have ever heard about. If anyone can deal with the latest challenge its you. Battle on, my friend.

    Strength,
    Paul

  99. 99 mary wilkinson September 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Mark ,Watch your documentary on rte ,you are quite a determined young man an insperation to so many .keep it up and with Gods help you will get there.W. ill keep you in my prayers. I am not a computor bloger I suppose a start.so forgive me if this dosnt go right.bye for now .

  100. 100 naomi cahill September 8, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    amazing programme, very inspiring to see you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

    thanks for the inspiration, keep getting better.

    xxxxxxxxxx

  101. 101 Liam September 8, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Hi Mark, I just watched the documentary of your amazing race to the South Pole after reading about you in the Irish Independent and I have to say you are some inspiration.
    I wish you all the best after your accident and I hope that things will work out and you have a speedy recovery. I will be following you on your blog.
    Kindest Regards,
    Liam

    p.s You are an Adventurer!

  102. 102 Jim September 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Dear Mark

    I watched “Blind Man Walking” the other night and was truly impressed by your resolve both inwardly and outwardly to overcome so many odds to achieve your objective of reaching the South Pole.

    I have to admit that I was unaware of you until seeing that programme, so I was devastated to read at the end of it that you had the awful accident that has put you in your present situation.

    I agree with “Bambi” that Shackleton’s apparent outward ‘failure’ on his Endurance Expedition is a good metaphor for your your present situation. But as with Shackleton who realized after the destruction of his ship the “Endurance”, that instead of continuing to physically drag his men and boats on across the ice towards Elephant Island, it was just as effective to let the drifting pack ice take them in that direction. So, as I’m sure you well know, he set up his “Patience Camp”. This, my dear friend, is where you are now. Judging by your “Optimist, Realist or Something Else?” blog, you are clearly aware of this.

    Just like Shackleton, you are in a situation where it is a waste of physical and psychological energy to to move outwards or onwards. Unlike Shackleton though, at present, you don’t have the relative luxury of being able to plan the possible course of action after “Patience Camp”, instead you have to wait until you get either positive or negative information regarding the mobility of your legs.

    Given this apparent impasse, in a sense, the realistic, but potentially optimistic option left is ‘inwards’. I know, both from the the psychology of your “Motivational Talks”, and its application to your own life, that you have the skill to apply your mind to the outside world, now you have the admittedly enforced opportunity to utilize this skill towards ‘inward journeys’, which unlike the physically limited outer world, these inner journeys are unlimited both in time and space.

    I apologize Mark if this has rambled on a bit into regions that both you and your friends and relatives may not be happy with, but we are dealing here with “Terra Incognita”, though we could appropriately turn that into “Terra Nova”! Let me just finish with this quote from Shackleton’s account of crossing South Georgia to emphasize my point:

    “When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us, not only across those snowfields, but across the storm-white sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing-place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but afterwards Worsley said to me, “Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us.” Crean confessed to the same idea. One feels “the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech” in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

    All the best for your future Mark.

    Jim

  103. 103 steven September 11, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    hi mark

    just wanted to say that i saw on rte the race to the south pole and how impressed i was . you inspire people , and make people dream and believe .you are a true adventurer . i wish you well and thank you

  104. 104 Matt September 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Mark! great documentary and we all enjoyed it but stunned at the end about the terrible news… God speed on your recovery, from Matt, Lyn and baby Paddy in Ringsend, Dublin.

  105. 105 Jim September 13, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    This is a modified version of my comment of September 8, 2010, which still appears to be “awaiting moderation”

    Dear Mark

    I watched “Blind Man Walking” the other night and was truly impressed by your resolve both inwardly and outwardly to overcome so many odds to achieve your objective of reaching the South Pole.

    I have to admit that I was unaware of you until seeing that programme, so I was devastated to read at the end of it that you had the awful accident that has put you in your present situation.

    I agree with “Bambi” that Shackleton’s apparent outward ‘failure’ on his Endurance Expedition, was also – “something that we regard today as his finest achievement” – and is a good metaphor for your present situation. But as with Shackleton who realized after the destruction of his ship the “Endurance”, that instead of continuing to physically drag his men and boats on across the ice towards Elephant Island, it was just as effective to let the drifting pack ice take them in that direction while in his “Patience Camp”. So, this, my dear friend, is where you are now, waiting until you get either positive or negative information regarding the mobility of your legs.

    You are now dealing with “Terra Incognita”, though you could appropriately turn that into “Terra Nova”! So, let me just finish with this quote from Shackleton’s own account of crossing South Georgia to emphasize my point:

    “When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us, not only across those snowfields, but across the storm-white sea that separated Elephant Island from our landing-place on South Georgia. I know that during that long and racking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were four, not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but afterwards Worsley said to me, “Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march that there was another person with us.” Crean confessed to the same idea. One feels “the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech” in trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.”

    All the best for your future Mark.

    Jim

  106. 106 Matt September 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Mark, we watched your documentary the other night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Good man yourself. Very sorry to hear about your unfortunate accident and God speed on your recovery. Keep the faith brother. From Matt, Lyn and baby Paddy in Ringsend.

  107. 107 Gary September 15, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Mark,

    Left a blog comment, but haven’t seen it on the site.
    Wondering how you are.
    Gary

  108. 108 Josie September 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hi Mark,

    I had the chance to see your documentary while on a visit to Ireland last week. You are truly an extraordinary person. I wish you have a good recovery and health.

    J

  109. 109 John McCormack September 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Mark,
    Just wanted to wish you every sucess on your road to recovery.
    I was shocked to hear what had happened.
    Having worked closely with you on Leaders on our Level for the past 5 years my first thoughts are that you getting through this will be a be a great new story to tell to the thousands of kids that will attend Leaders on our Level.
    I have recieved hundreds of calls and mails asking about you from students who have attened past events.

    I wish you Gods speed in your journey to full recovery and look forward to working with you again on Leaders onour Level.
    Regards
    John McCormack

  110. 110 Bernard F September 17, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Hi Mark, I’ve just watched your South Pole adventure. What a fantastic race and brilliant outcome.
    I’ve never met you but I’d just like to say that you are inspirational. I’ve never left a reply on a blog before but that last hour of television have left me gob-smacked and humbled. If you ever find yourself down in Kerry, I’d love to buy you a pint (or 2).Take care of yourself, Bernard F


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