If you are going to watch one thing this weekend, make sure the Mark Pollock and Simone George’s Ted Talk is it. It’s honestly incredible.

Mark Pollock lost his sight at age 22. In the following 10 years, Mark set about totally rebuilding his identity. During that time, he ran six marathons in seven days in the Gobi desert and completed marathons at the North Pole and Everest Basecamp. He also became the first blind person to walk to the South Pole.

However, things took an unexpected turn in 2010 when Mark fell 25 feet from an upstairs window, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. Since the accident, Mark and his partner Simone George have dedicated their lives to finding a cure for paralysis. They have worked with some of the world’s top scientists and taken part in pioneering studies in a bid to one day have a world without wheelchairs.

Mark and Simone recently hosted a Ted Talk where they spoke in detail about their experiences. They talked about dealing with those dark days after the accident and why they have embarked on this journey to find a cure for paralysis.

Their story is heart-breaking and uplifting in equal measure. Together they have explored the frontiers of spinal cord injury recovery, combining an innovative electrical stimulator from NeuroRecovery Technologies to supercharge Mark’s nervous system while walking hundreds of thousands of steps with the help of his Ekso Bionics robotic legs.

Mark and Simone are a force to be reckoned with, and their progress so far is inspiring.

Watch their full Ted Talk below.

By Orla O'Muiri

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