‘When you have more than you need, build a longer table not a higher fence’
Every week I get to travel globally to do what I do. I get to experience those wonderful first world problems of delayed plane departures, phone charger compatibility issues and hotel rooms with jammed A/C controls. But global travel teaches you many things. There are countries where clean drinking water is not a guarantee, where the education system is not available to all, where simple treatable conditions like Malaria kill every day. Closer to home, there are parents struggling to get the support they need for their critically ill children, refugees trying to make a new life but trapped in a no-man’s land camp for years, people we pass on the street every day that have nowhere to sleep tonight.
Choosing one over another is hard, if not impossible. So, we have decided that the KH Foundation will not choose. It will be a foundation that simply builds that longer table. Who we ask to sit at that table with us will change. In that way, over time, we can feel that we have made some difference to causes that matter to us, and to you our clients. If you are reading this and have an initiative that you feel is worthy of our attention, please reach out. Every year we will put our effort and focus into supporting and making a difference to causes that matter to us.
The foundation activities are funded from a percentage of the revenue from every speech I deliver worldwide. It makes every moment I step on stage even more worthwhile, adding to my own personal ‘why’.
2021/2022Mark Pollock Trust
The 17th December now marks my second birthday, a day in 2019 I could have died but got one more whirl on life’s merry-go-round. I won’t bore you all with the detail. (If really interested you can read about it here).
The upshot is two years later I still know how lucky I am. As part of that injury and fall, there were 4 days where I was on paralysis watch. While 3 of my vertebrae had fractured, a fourth had caved in to the spinal column and was about to impact my spinal nerve. I lay for four days on paralysis watch, looking at the celling awaiting surgery, uncertain of my future.
Dr. Mark Dolan came to my rescue with some delicate spinal surgery and with the installation of a couple of titanium rods, he saved my mobility and urinary functions from being permanently impacted. I am forever grateful and also aware of how close I came to both death and paralysis. This briefest brush with paralysis gave me a new perspective and appreciation for the mobility we all take for granted.
I first met Mark Pollock in 2013 when we shared a keynote stage, and he was one of the people that inspired me to become a full-time professional speaker. Mark’s own fall in 2010 was similar to mine and we spoke soon after my own accident about doing something together.
The pandemic had a significant impact on both our speaking businesses and it kind of side-tracked everything, but I am delighted to know that every speech I do in 2022 will now divert some funds towards Mark’s mission to cure paralysis within his lifetime.
Specifically, the funds will be used for DCUs Exoskeleton work, a programme that allows those with neurological injuries access to a state-of-the-art technology solution to help them learn to walk again.
I would like to thank every client we work with in 2022 in advance, as it is your business that will provide these much-needed funds to people who are so deserving of this help. If I learned anything from those four days looking at that ceiling it is to always appreciate what you have.