Insight with Mark Farrell An engaging forum to examine and discuss a vast array of everyday obstacles and challenges facing adults and children today.

January 18, 2021  
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Pictured L-R (Amanda Cali, Mark and Odette Schwegler)

Odette Schwegler, Co-Executive Producer of the new phenomenal documentary Tin Soldiers,  discusses the journey that began a decade ago when the paths of two mothers crossed, one an American mother of a child with an ultra-rare condition, the other a South African journalist and mother of four who became consumed with a rare disease named FOP.  Mark and Odette discuss the films process, the lives the disease and film have touched, the on-going mission of educating doctors and vital decision makers on Capital Hill.   

Imagine your body seizing up. Unable to walk, bend over or not being able to simply wave hello or goodbye. Hillary Weldon and daughter Whitney Weldon know all too well how Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP), an extremely rare degenerative disease has impacted their lives. And no better conduit to enlighten the world then through a riveting full length documentary film they created aptly named, “Tin Soldiers”.  Odette Schwegler and Amanda Cali are the Executive Directors and Assistant Producers are Hillary and Bill Weldon. Movie trailer:

About: Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP) is a disorder in which muscle tissue and connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments are gradually replaced by bone (ossified), forming bone outside the skeleton (extra-skeletal or heterotopic bone) that constrains movement. This process generally becomes noticeable in early childhood, starting with the neck and shoulders and proceeding down the body and into the limbs.

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Special acknowledgements to the invaluable help and contributions of Theresa Reid – Beyond Organics Howell NJ, Terry Eleftheriou of Shipwreck Grill – Brielle NJ.

During this very challenging COVID-19 era, have Mark speak at your company, organization, conference and retreat to increase morale, productivity, confidence and more either in-person or virtual.  Mark also has riveting talks for students k-12 and college on overcoming adversity, anti-bullying/anti-teasing, mental health, drugs/alcohol, celebrating differences, self-entitlement, senior send-off and more.  All of Mark’s talks are from his vast life experience.  Reviews, videos, booking info and more at: Email:

“Mark’s willingness to use his disability to uplift others is both generous and remarkable.  His message resonates with all of us who have worked hard to overcome life’s adversities.  If you’re looking for a podium speaker, look elsewhere.  Mark stays on the move and keeps the audience engaged.  Thank you, Mark”

Johnny Callebs KAPP Executive Director

“Mark Farrell is a dynamic speaker who will captivate the audience by sharing his personal story of how he was able to overcome challenges in life and worked his way to success.  We scheduled Mark for 45 minutes, but our students were so engaged in his story that Mark spoke for over 1 hour.  I still have students approach me and discuss Mark's message and say, "if he could do it, so can I”

 Christine Crielly School Counselor

Holland Brook School NJ

 “Mark invigorated our conference! His genuine enthusiasm and professionalism, combined with an amazing topic, made for a marvelous presentation”

Catharine Leahy - Speakers Chair Princeton University

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