When she was just four years old, Molly Burke’s world began to darken: she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal disease causing loss of vision. Drawing from deeply personal experiences, Molly brings audiences, especially students, a uniquely young and current perspective on issues many of them face each day. Her message—that any challenge in life, whether it’s bullying, mental illness or a loss of vision, can be overcome—resonates powerfully.
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Learn how Molly used the challenges of living with retinitis pigmentosa to make a change in the world.
When she was just four-years‐old, Molly Burke’s world began to darken: she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a retinal disease causing loss of vision. But despite this, and the ensuing obstacles and hardships she faced, it wasn’t long before she began bringing light into the lives of others. Molly began public speaking at the age of five. Since then, she has inspired thousands with her story.
Over the years, as Molly’s vision deteriorated, her confidence and optimism only strengthened; but not without trying times or adversity along the way. As a student, Molly was tormented by bullies who mocked her for being blind. She became depressed and struggled with mental illness, until she found the strength to face her challenges, the courage to reach out to others, and most importantly, hope.
As a motivational speaker with ME to WE, Molly has travelled across Canada and the US sharing her story with youth, families and corporate organizations including RBC, KPMG, Coca Cola, PotashCorp and Green Giant. She has also travelled to Free The Children communities in India and Kenya.
Molly has shared the WE Day stage with Larry King, Demi Lovato, Macklemore, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jennifer Hudson, Chris Hadfield, Magic Johnson, Martin Luther King III, Martin Sheen and Mia Farrow. She was also a correspondent on the Orange Carpet for the 2013 Halo Awards.
She believes that we gain strength from sharing our stories and that we can learn from the struggles of others. That’s why she lives by the motto…live, learn and pass it on.