February 2013: The start of my adventure in India

February 2013: The start of my adventure in India

In February 2013, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland sent me on the trip of a lifetime to meet social innovators in the India. We started in Bangalore; it was wonderful: perfect weather, incredible people and the best food I’ve ever had.

As I listened to the fascinating insights of the people we met I was struck by one word that seemed to colour every conversation: “contradiction”. I began to understand this during an incredible walking ...

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June 2012: My first night away in 13 years

My first night away in 13 years

‘Man is nothing else but what he purposes, he exists only in so far as he realizes himself, he is therefore nothing else but the sum of his actions, nothing else but what his life is.’ (“Man Makes Himself” by Jean-Paul Sartre)

Since Steve had his stroke in 2006 I had not spent a night away from him and our girls. Since our eldest daughter was born almost 13 years ...

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April 2012: Stepping into an Oasis

Stepping into an Oasis

 I remember the first time I went to Trinity College Dublin. It was my final year in school and I had been invited to the Trinity Ball. As I stepped through the gates, the noise of the traffic disappeared and the grey cityscape was exchanged for the magnificence of the Exam Hall and the music of Strauss. I remember feeling as though I had been transported into a perfect oasis.

That memory was in stark ...

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June 2011: Chance meetings and life changing moments

Chance meetings and life changing moments

On 15th June 2011 I hosted the first ever Research & Hope event. When I realised I had the opportunity to host a talk by Professor Vincent Walsh on ‘Brain stimulation and stroke’ I was thrilled … and then I panicked.

I have attended and spoken at numerous events but I had no idea how to organise one. I am very grateful, therefore, that Care Alliance came to my rescue. They agreed to co-host the event ...

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April 2011: Learning to Care: The Carers’ Sanctuary Magazine

Learning to Care: The Carers’ Sanctuary Magazine

I seem to have lived many different lives. I have studied and worked in various countries. I was a university student, part- or full-time, for 12 years; I have had several careers, from lecturer to business consultant; I have been a girlfriend, a partner, a wife and a mother. As I moved through these different phases of my life, I simply adapted. I seemed to know how to adjust to each new situation, more ...

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March 2011: A moral dilemma

A moral dilemma

 I launched the Research & Hope website in February 2011. It is now three years later and I am working to improve and update the website. From the beginning I have had the same moral dilemma as I now face:  do I hold fast to my ethical principles, or earn enough money to speed up the research and help more people?

My choice so far has been to stay with my principles and do without the ...

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March 2011:From solitude to support: reaching for the impossible … again

From solitude to support: reaching for the impossible … again

For the first five years after Steve’s stroke I spent many waking hours sitting alone in front of my computer. Every time I sat down I knew that my research could help Steve but I didn’t know if anyone else would be interested in the website I was creating. So many elements were needed to create Research & Hope, from hours of web design, infinite reading lists and endless searching for ...

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February 2011: Metaphysics and the Media

Metaphysics and the Media

In February 2011 I launched the Research & Hope website http://www.researchandhope.com/ the following year I founded Neruo Hero http://www.neurohero.com/. Both events were accompanied by a great deal of interest from the media. I have always hidden from cameras; as a consequence, there are very few family photos that include me. Now I find myself frequently posing for the press and speaking on the radio.

Remembering the time…

I remember the first time I was invited to appear ...

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January 2011: Learning from the master: Miyamaoto Musashi

Learning from the master: Miyamaoto Musashi

I have always been a perfectionist. For many years, it was a constant struggle to be content with anything, from my academic writings to my skill as a pool player. However, many years of karate have taught me that perfection is infinitely beyond my grasp.

Just eight years after I began practicing karate I was sitting with a group of senior students as they told their epic tales of battles fought, injuries sustained and the weird and ...

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December 2010: Stroke, snow and stoicism

Stroke,snow and stoicism

When I thought about launching my first project the Research & Hope website I envisaged all kinds of potential obstacles. Could I complete the research? Would anyone be interested? Would the medical establishment recognise my work? As it turned out, the answers were all positive. I was able to research 24 treatments for stroke that might be helpful in addition to the standard medical approach. The feedback was far better than I could have imagined and I am ...

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