World’s Only Disabled Polar Hero to Inspire Young Scots
Inspirational adventurer Michael McGrath is to address a variety of Glasgow audiences including a variety of schools and over 200 clinicians at the 7th Annual Conference of the Scottish Muscle Network in a three day city visit from Wednesday 6 through to Friday 8 September 2006.
Whilst here, Michael (41) who despite suffering from muscular dystrophy is the world’s only disabled person to have walked to both the North and South Poles. He will meet and address school children, fellow sufferers, academics, clinicians, educationalists and medics.
The visit is being organised by Yorkhill Muscle Fund to raise both awareness and much needed funds. Its founder, Rosie Brawley comments;
“Michael is an inspiration to all he meets. His visit to Ashcraig Secondary School for Children with special educational needs [physical impairments, visual impairments and chronic or acute medical conditions], will in particular help to promote a positive message about disability and inspire youngsters with disability to achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Ashcraig School is attended by boys and girls aged between 12 to 18yrs.
She continues – “We have also arranged for Michael to speak to the pupils of St Aloysius College in Glasgow, a Jesuit independent school, founded in 1859. Ironically, Michael was educated by the Jesuits attending St John’s Beaumont in Windsor and then Stonyhurst College in Lancashire. Amongst the pupils at St Aloysius, there will be some of the future influencers of society and the economy, so it is essential that these young people are engendered with a positive message about disability, at an early age.”
Michael himself adds – “School subjects should not be taught merely from a text book. Only by experiencing or visualising real life issues gleaned from real life experiences can children begin to understand and reflect on the environment around them. Doing so equips them to apply their new found knowledge to other situations in life.”
Michael will also address over 200 clinical delegates at the 7th Annual Meeting of the Scottish Muscle Network on Thursday 7 September 2006 at the Western Infirmary Lecture Theatre, Glasgow.
Yorkhill Muscle Fund
Neuromuscular disorders are progressive in nature, where a child may typically become wheelchair dependant from the age of eight
Over 3000 people in Scotland are diagnosed with these conditions each year
Yorkhill Muscle Fund is a fundraising body and was set up in 2004 to purchase advanced power wheelchairs, not available on the NHS
These wheelchairs are specifically for children and young adults with Neuromuscular Disorders attending Yorkhill
The NHS wheelchair budget is £2.50 per week, per child per chair
It is our objective to raise funds at a local level to help those most in need at Yorkhill Hospital to give them what all children should have, comfort, independence and enjoyment
To donate or to find out more, please visit
Michael McGrath is the only disabled person in the world to have walked to both the North and South Poles. He describes himself as a diversity champion, leader, adventurer and change agent
Born in 1965, Michael lives in Hertfordshire, England and is married with one daughter
Muscular Dystrophy has caused him to lose some 65% of his muscle bulk, making standing and walking extremely difficult. He has recently started to use a power chair, enabling greater freedom, independence and mobility
Despite his physical limitations this in 2002, he and his team walked the last 150 metres to the North Pole in April 2002 and then repeated the feat by organising a second expedition to Antarctica and walking the final 310 metres to the South Pole in January 2004 – his pole2pole project www.musclehelp.com/about_us/pole2pole received endorsements from Alexandra Shackleton, Sir Richard Branson, Lorraine Kelly of GMTV, Kenneth Branagh [a Patron of Michael’s Muscle-in-Action Educational initiative], Jon Snow and Sir Chris Bonington to name a few
Michael is the Executive Director and Co-founder of The Muscular Help Foundation which is a focal point for accelerating the eradication of muscle disorders by raising awareness, funds and co-ordinating support and research efforts world wide. To donate, get involved or to find out more please visit www.musclehelp.com