Alison is an artist born with no arms and with truncated legs - a condition known as phocomelia. She uses photography, digital imaging and painting to question concepts of physical normality and beauty, using herself as a subject. She posed for Marc Quinn's sculputre Alison Lapper Pregnant which occupied the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square between 2005 and 2007. A giant replica of this sculpture featured in the 2012 London Paralympics opening ceremony.
Sabine was born with very small arms - a result of her mother having been prescribed the drug thalidomide while pregnant. She is a mother, inspirational speaker, artist, writer and world traveller. In 2012 she suffered a major stroke, which left her left side completely paralysed. After several months of rehabilitation she is now able to walk and use her feet for daily tasks again. Through her website, she inspires her audiences with examples from her life to rise above challenges through thinking differently and never giving up.
Simone Mangos was born In Australia with disabilities caused by thalidomide. She originally trained as a musician but also as a visual artist and has been working in Berlin since 1988. Her work is in many public and private collections and she exhibits internationally. In recent years Mangos began to focus more directly on issues related to living with congenital disability in the her artworks.
Simona Atzori is an Italian artist and dancer, born without arms. She uses her feet to draw, write and perform all other daily activities. She has been painting since the age of 4 and presented Pope John Paul II with a portrait of himself at the age of 17 and to Pope Francis in 2014. She holds a Degree in Visual Arts from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. She exhibits her artwork in many cities in Italy and abroad.
She has danced since the age of 6 and has been dancing professionally since 1999. She was nominated to be the ambassador for Dance during the Great Jubilee of 2000 in Rome. She performed a dance routine during the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics Games in Turin in 2006. She founded the Simona Arte Dance Company in 2010 and performs for audiences all around the globe.
She is the author of two very inspiring autobiographical books, published in 2011 and 2014 by Mondadori. She shares her message through motivational speaking events to public and private educational institutions, large businesses, and organisations.
Nicholas McCarthy was born in 1989 without his right hand and found the piano at age 14. Following his fair share of challenges and attempts at discouragement, Nicholas went on to gain a place at the Royal College of music where his historic graduation in 2012 made press around the world. Shortly followed by playing at the Paralympic closing ceremony and sharing a stage with Coldplay.
Steph Palermo - 'Just Steph' - is a motivational speaker with Poland syndrome, with over 20 years experience in entertainment, film, television and live event hosting.
Steph has "single handedly" managed a home and family while on a path to physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual well-being. She delivers a knock-out performance through humour about the everyday struggle that resides in each of us. Through personal trials, she came to understand that only through significant changes in these four aspects could she experience peace.