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When forty something arts development promoter and award winning activist Marlene Le Roux was just three months old she contracted polio. A negligent and racist medical system during the height of South Africa’s apartheid years failed to protect her from what in the mid 1960’s was already a preventable disease. Marlene was just one of many.
Yet from an early age she was determined to prove that she was no different from anyone else. She wore a caliper but didn’t hide it, she sang on stage in front of large audiences, was the first in her family to go to university and embraced life head on. And when she was older she presented herself and other disabled women as sensual, fully expressed beings in a first-of-its kind coffee table book that got people talking about disabled women in an altogether new way.
Marlene has become a mouthpiece for the rights of the disabled. A passionate campaigner determined to change attitudes and lives.
Today this outspoken and respected mother, wife and career woman shares her leaps of faith and life journey with us, describing her challenges as a child, her emerging political activism and the leaps that she and her husband have had to make as parents to two children, one of whom - their son Adam - is also disabled. Marlene shares with us how Adam has transformed her life and what it takes to look after herself and Adam, both having lives that will always require medical care and attention.
Marlene’s story offers a window into the private world of a very public personality. A woman known to many as bold, fearless and outspoken who in truth is also beautifully soft, deeply spirited and indescribably brave.
In August 2017 Adam passed away. He was almost 16. He was a shining light to all who knew him and a joy to meet. Our deepest condolences to Marlene and the family.