John was born with a backbone that stops at the base of his ribs, so this severe disability rendered his legs useless. Though doctors said he wouldn’t live past his first 24 hours, John defied medical opinion and eventually had both of his legs amputated.
He now travels around and delivers inspiring talks to people all over the world. Telling tales of his immense strength even in the face of great adversity, John is on a mission to help people down the path to becoming the best versions of themselves.
John’s presentation, which followed on the recent launch of the CLARE positive education framework, brought an outside world perspective to students, detailing the opportunities that there are to connect better with each other and with members of their community. John’s large focus on anti-bullying also helped to highlight the RESPECT aspect of the CLARE framework.
Speaking to both seniors and juniors on 6 March, John reminded St Clare’s students to always be grateful for the blessings in life that we often take for granted. He also showed the students the infinite possibilities before them to achieve what they want in life, advising students to take themselves out of their comfort zones if they are to realise their full potential.
While John’s stories of his experiences with bullying proved to be confronting, their unforgettable nature helped to reinforce his message of overcoming obstacles, leaving baggage behind and treating people they way you want to be treated.
His compelling stories reminded all students just how lucky most of them are and he detailed how to put their own problems into perspective, showing them a different way to deal with life’s ups and downs.
Still able to laugh and crack a joke or two, John also spoke to students about the importance of family.
“We all laughed and some of us may have even shed a tear,” said Eloise Thomas, SRC Coordinator at St Clare’s.
“However we all learnt we have a power inside, that we have strength and courage and we should use it as often as we can. The students walked away that day with a challenge to set goals, have direction and take responsibility for it.”