Mark Pollack And Simone George - "A Love Letter To Science"
This week, Mark Pollock and Simone George released a TED talk about resolving the tension between hope and acceptance. It has been hugely successful, receiving half a million views globally so far.
The talk has been described by TED curator Helen Walters as "a love letter to science."
Mark describes the TED talk as dealing with "a mix of relationships, grief, hope, acceptance and technology."
Mark and Simone met in Dublin. Simone, a human rights lawyer, had just returned from travelling the world.
At this point Mark was blind, having lost the sight in his right eye when he was five years old and experienced a retina detachment when he was 22. Since then, he has run marathons in locations like the Gobi Desert, the North Pole and Everest Base Camp.
Mark suffered another major setback in 2010, four weeks before he and Simone were due to get married, when he fell from a three-storey window. He lost power in his legs and is now in a wheelchair.
Simone says of this time, "It was like someone was writing this story we were in that wasn't real."
They both admit their relationship faced challenges as a result, but they stayed together.
Mark says, "We had to eventually get to a point where we either broke up because we didn't like each other — not because of the injury — or we stayed together because we were in a relationship — not because of the injury."
Simone and Mark have spent a lot of time since then searching for a cure for Mark's paralysis. They found a company in San Francisco who created a robotic exoskeleton that would allow Mark to stand and walk, and they spent three months working with a lab to electrically stimulate his spinal cord, which allowed him to move his legs voluntarily.
Mark says, "It's exciting, but it's also tragic that we don't have this available in Ireland."
To find out more about Run in the Dark, which takes place in November, click here.
To catch the full chat press the play button on the image on the top of the screen