Cultivating and maintaining the characteristics of leadership and resilience in life is a constant challenge for all of us. In others we can often find the courage and inspiration to lead a more fulfilled life. So we are pleased to have Jack Kavanagh join us to share his story. Jack sustained a spinal cord injury in 2012 only weeks before entering his second year of Pharmacy in TCD. As a result he is paralysed from the armpits down with 15% muscle function remaining. However this did not deter him from achieving success in a number of fields. In 2014 Jack gave the acclaimed TEDx Talk, Fearless Like A Child, overcoming adversity. Having completed a BSc in Pharmacy in May 2017 he completed the Masters of Pharmacy in RCSI in 2018 and joined the professional register in December 2018. At the same time through talks and workshops Jack continues to deliver to audiences on the concepts of well-being, resilience, personal leadership, the power of choice and personal development. He was included in a list of “50 Incredible People Who Are Shaping Modern Ireland” in 2017 and was awarded as one of “Ten Outstanding Young People of the Year” in 2019 as someone who is doing inspirational work, citing an award winning documentary Breaking Boundaries that he and friends made based on a road trip around America. Jack has spent time working in clinical practice, research, external affairs and innovation environments. He is currently serving on the board of the National Disability Authority and working to release latent potential of people as a performance coach and speaker.
As he says himself: “There is no right or wrong path, just a series of events that gives us a flavour of what it is that sets our hearts alight or dampens our soul. What I do know to be true is that in a life that is not always a smooth ride and a world that’s more disillusioned, disconnected and full of people wearing masks than ever before, the bravest thing a person can possibly do is to be their authentic selves despite the challenges they may face that is when the magic will happen.”