Mark Taylor spoke to us this week about living with paralysis.
Mark originates from the West Midlands and has lived all over the southern half of the UK but now resides in Cambridgeshire. He spent many happy times in the Swanage area as a youngster. A keen sportsman in his teenage years, he played five different sports at school.
He took a history degree at Winchester college. Sadly, during a rugby match whilst at Winchester in his early 20s he incurred a spinal injury and despite being able to get very quick medical attention, the damage had been done. He attended the famous Stoke Mandiville Hospital within a very short time after the accident but the treatment was to no avail and he has been paralysed since that time.
However, Mark has not been one to moan about his lot, and has got on with his life by doing as much as he possibly can. He went to Southampton University to take a degree and was subsequently accepted at Downing College, Cambridge to take a PhD. Choosing not to stay at home, he moved into a care home in Wellingborough where he met a doctor who was also a Rotarian. The local club put him forward for a grant and he was ultimately successful in securing a Rotary Scholarship, which meant him travelling to the United States to study 17th Century politics as part of his PhD.
Mark thoroughly enjoyed his time in America meeting many great Rotarians while he was out there. He had a job working in a library during the day and worked hard on his studies while he was there but managed to find time to explore the California and West Coast areas of the States, where he was staying, as well and attended many Rotary Clubs and events. He also spoke to several thousand people at a Rotary Conference.
On returning to the UK Mark qualified as a teacher but has since worked as a local councillor and for his local authority. He has also stood for Mayor of Cambridgeshire where he was placed third.
Mark’s story is inspirational and on behalf of the club President John thanked him very much for speaking to us.