“We’re going to face challenges, whether we choose them or they choose us – it’s what we decide to do about them that counts” – Mark Pollock

Mark Pollock is one of the most inspirational people I have ever come across. 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 (www.markpollock.com).

In 2010 Mark was left paralysed after falling from a second story window. He is now exploring the intersection where humans and technology collide and catalyzing collaborations that have never been done before. Through the Mark Pollock Trust he is unlocking $1 billion to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

In our chat Mark shared how his sporting mindset of being a competitor and not a spectator has helped him deal with unexpected challenges; the importance of being a realist; and how collaborations, rather than working alone, achieves great things.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting The Chop Has Never Felt So Good!

g 5


Just over two years ago, my daughter got her hair cut.





About a year later, my alopecia came back and it was at it’s worst ever.



In researching what I could do for my alopecia, I came across the Rapunzel Foundation. It “is a charitable organisation that works to improve the lives of those living with hair loss, through fundraising as well as through hair-raising (for wigs). Anna Furlong’s Hair Salon is the founder salon of the Rapunzel Foundation which now has over 450 registered salons all over Ireland.”

I didn’t need a wig but my, then six year old, daughter and I started talking about my hair loss and ways in which we could help others. We loved the idea of her growing her hair to donate it to the foundation. This is what her hair focus has been for the last 18 months. Getting her hair long enough so that she could chop it off and donate it to the Rapunzel foundation  so that it could become part of a wig that’s donated to a child or adult who needs it.

Last night there was great excitement when after her hair had been washed, nit checked and measured (the donation has to be at least 14inches long and not coloured or chemically treated), we realised that tomorrow she could finally go in for the chop

The excitement hit fever pitch this morning, when we called The Jim Hatton Salon, in Rathgar, (one of the participating salons) and found out that there was an available appointment in an hour.


So off we went to the salon and met with Rebecca – who was amazing! She made my G feel so appreciated and answered all of her questions (mainly about how her hair goes from the salon to a person’s head).





The first step, after getting in the chair, was a lice check (understandably so). The hair was then sectioned into 4 parts …






measured …





… and then chopped.




The salon cut G’s hair free of charge, gave her a gorgeous new hair style and will now send on G’s donation to the Rapunzle foundation where it will become part of a much needed wig.


I found today very moving. It shows that small steps by many people can make a big change in someone’s life. Thanks to my seven year old for donating her hair, Rebecca and the salon for donating their time and taking care of the hair, and to the amazing Rapunzel Foundation for their invaluable work!


If you want more information about the Rapunzel Foundation visit the following:
Website:     www.rapunzelfoundation.com
Facebook:  facebook.com/rapunzelfoundation
Instagram: @rapunzelfoundation


Posted in Opinion Piece | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

My Word For 2019 …



January 1st, 2019 – when it comes to the clock striking 12 o’clock and the beginning of a new year, the rules are, there are no rules! Do you – whatever that may be. If you feel it’s new year, new you – then go for it; but equally, if you feel it’s new year and you want to continue being you – then do that; or, if it’s new year, still don’t have a clue, that’s good too!

Make resolutions. Don’t. Try new things. Don’t. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t. Just do you and whatever works for you and always be unapologetically you!

I used to make New Year’s resolutions but over the years that’s changed. The past few years I’ve taken to a vision board. A place where I put out all of my goals (personal, health, financial and work) and keep it up, all year, so I can physically see what it is I want to do/achieve.

For me, this works because I feel like I’m taking all the clutter out of my head and putting it out onto a physical space where I can I really see what it is I want/need. It’s not always just words, I also include pictures or phrases that catch my eye.

Last year, after reading a piece by Mia Freedman, I added another approach to how I start my new year. She wrote about not making resolutions but choosing a word you could use to keep you focussed/motivated. This spoke to me but I wasn’t sure it it would work for me. I tried it though, and I loved it.

Any time I was a little unsteady, I’d go back to that word, and to my vision board, and it would help centre me.

When I looked back at my vision board and my word of 2018, last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had achieved much of what was there. Some are still a work in progress but I am a work in progress so that’s ok with me.

This year, I’m taking the same approach. It’s back to my vision board to do some editing. I need to allow myself to be more direct in what I ask of, and for, myself, and not hold myself back because I’m embarrassed to ask for too much or embarrassed by what others may think of what I want or me!

That brings me to my word of 2019. It stems from that and from a thought I’ve been having a lot in 2018 – I need to recognise that I am worthy. I am worthy of success, I am worthy of that pay cheque, I am worthy of saying no, I am worthy of better. So this year, my word is DESERVING.

I am going to try very hard to speak proudly of my achievements, accept compliments (instead of putting myself down when someone tries to say something nice), celebrate the little things, enjoy my personal time, be in the moment, love freely and deeply, choose kindness (to myself and others), appreciate the way I make it though the storms, and accept all of the good things that come my way – because I am DESERVING of it!

Here’s to 2019 being everything you want it, or need it, to be, finding ways to navigate the not so great times, and all the while, here’s to you doing you!

Posted in Opinion Piece | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

“Motherhood Is Frightening”-Sandra Bullock on Motherhood, Seeking Goodness & Netflix Film “Bird Box”

Sandra Bullock stars as Malorie, a mum who must scale a river blindfolded, in order to get her and her children to safety, in the new Netflix film, “Bird Box” (drops on 21 December).

I caught up with Sandra to find out how, with all the darkness in the world right now, she manages to see the light and shine bright; why motherhood can be frightening experience; and when she has been afraid but decided to feel the fear and go for it anyway.

“Bird Box” is available on Netflix from Friday 21st December.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mat Whitecross Shares Coldplay Living Out Their Dreams in, “Coldplay: A Head Full of Dreams”

Documentary Maker Mat Whitecross turned a camera on Coldplay 20 years ago, before they were even a band. He recently pressed stopped on his camera and now brings us the inspiring, behind the scenes, making of the band documentary that is “Cold Play: A Head Full of Dreams”.

I caught up with Mat to find out why he first pressed record, living out dreams, and how the band has inspired him.


The documentary is available as part of Coldplay’s “Butterfly Package” which includes the documentary on DVD, a live album (recorded in Buenos Aires) and concert film (recorded in Sao Paolo), which is out now.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dolph Lundgren And Florian Munteanu On the Toll Being A “Drago” Took on Them

Dolph Lindgren is back as Ivan Drago for Creed II and this time he has his son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu), in tow.

I caught up with Dolph and Florian tell us what it’s like being a Drago, why they almost forgot how to smile and how working out together helped their onscreen chemistry.

“Creed II” is a knockout, and is in cinemas now.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

John C Reilly and Sarah Silverman Reveal What They Want Disney To Do With Their “Ralph Breaks The Internet” Out Takes

John C Rielly and Sarah Silverman are back as Ralph and Vanellope in the “Wreck it Ralph” sequel, “Ralph Breaks The Internet”.

I got to catch up with them to find out what they love about this movie, what it means to be a good friend, and whether or not their outakes will be released for an adult only audience.

“Ralph Breaks The Internet” is out in Irish cinemas on November 30.

Posted in Interviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment