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Thalidomide impaired writer to inspire at literary festival

June 20th, 2016

rosieinpageAn inspirational writer who has overcome her disability to become a successful broadcaster, artist and equality campaigner is set to appear at a unique literary festival.

Rosie Moriarty-Simmonds OBE will be talking to an audience about her life and book, Four Fingers and Thirteen Toes, at The Savoy on Monday, June 27, as part of the Monmouth Literary Festival.

Now in its third year, the cultural extravaganza is organised and run by pupils from Monmouth School, Haberdashers’ Monmouth school for Girls and Monmouth Comprehensive.

Rosie is the only Thalidomide impaired person to have written her autobiography and interspersed it with a definitive factual history of the drug from its early years of manufacture in Nazi Germany. The drug left her with four fingers, two sprouting from each shoulder, and 13 toes on legs which came to an abrupt end above the knee.

Rosie’s upcoming visit to Monmouth will not be the first time she has moved schoolchildren with her incredible story. Last summer she was interviewed by a panel of HMSG pupils, including Ellena, in front of their peers as part of the School’s Confidence for Life program.

Ellena, who is now in Year 13, said: “I found Rosie very inspirational, she’s had a lot to overcome but she doesn’t let any of it stop her.

“Everyone has their own things to deal with but Rosie’s story puts things into perspective, and it’s amazing how well she deals with everything.
“The interview really stayed with me. The main thing I learned is that I complain too much.
“Listening to her talk makes you think ‘wow, she’s such a positive person’.
“She also talked about her mouth painting – her work is really good. I was a bit jealous of her talent!”

Married with one son, Rosie formed the RMS Disability Issues Consultancy in 1995 and her campaigning and charitable work is eclectic.rosie2inpage

She has always enjoyed photography and art, and was accepted as a student artist by the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists in March 2013 to develop this skill; the first disabled artist in South Wales to do so.

For years, Rosie has been involved in many Disability Organisations, and after a lifetime of Campaigning for Rights and Equality for Disabled People, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list 2015.

On Monday she will talk about Thalidomide, how and why she wrote her book, her current business and arts projects and give an insight into her life illustrated with photographs from family albums.

There will then be opportunity for the audience to ask questions. Tickets are £5 and available here.

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