Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Genesis 2:7 ESV
In the beginning, God breathed life into man and said—just breathe!
Breathing moves air in and out of the lungs by bringing in oxygen and flushing out carbon dioxide. Breathing provides a mechanism for speech and laughter as well as reflexes for yawning, coughing and sneezing. That is why what happened to Robin Cavendish was so devastating.
Breathe is a movie about the inspiring true love story of Robin and Diane Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refused to give up in the face of a breath-taking disabling disease. Robin Francis Cavendish was born on March 12, 1930 in Middleton, Derbyshire, England. After an early career in the army, he helped start a tea-brokering business in Africa and made frequent trips to Kenya.
It was in Kenya that he developed polio in December 1958 at the age of 28, three years after Jonas Salk‘s polio vaccine was found to be effective in field trials. Robin was paralyzed from the neck down and able to breathe only with the use of a mechanical ventilator. Although he was initially given only three months to live after his diagnosis, with the help of his wife Diana, he was able to survive for another 36 years! Robin and Diana went on to escape the hospital ward to live a full and passionate life together—raising their young son and devoting their lives to helping other polio patients. With the help of the ground-breaking ideas of inventor and friend, Oxford professor Teddy Hall, Robin developed numerous devices to provide independence to paralyzed people.Robin understood the significance of having his breath taken away and then restored—therefore, he never took it for granted for the rest of his life. He turned his eyes outward and labored tirelessly for others. O Lord help me remember how beautiful life can be when my focus is turned outward. Help me to stop—be thankful—and—just breathe!
“Sometimes it's the same moments that take your breath away
that breathe purpose and love back into your life.”
― Steve Maraboli
Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience