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Press Release

05 Oct 2012

RTE’s Miriam helps 6 year old’s family to promote ‘Run for a Life’ and to honour his organ donor

The ever popular TV presenter Miriam O’Callaghan stepped out with six year old kidney transplant recipient, Rhys Kane, today to encourage people of all ages to support an organ donor awareness event, ‘Run for a Life’, which takes place next week. People can walk, jog or run in the event. Rhys, from Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, along with his brother Robert and parents Claudia Kane and Robert Daly and other members of his family, will celebrate his recent transplant by taking partin the ‘Run for a Life’ at Park West Business Park, Dublin 12 on Saturday, 13th October commencing 12 noon.

The charity fundraiser is organised by the Irish Kidney Association and its main sponsor is Astellas Pharma Co. The event will mark European Day for Organ Donation & Transplantation which is celebrated throughout Europe on the same day and aims to highlight the ongoing and increasing demand for organ donation throughout Europe.

Miriam O’Callaghan, who has supported previous organ donor awareness campaigns, said,  “I am delighted to lend my support, once again, to the Irish Kidney Association  and this worthy cause which aims to raise organ donation and to highlight the plight of people with organ failure and how it impacts on them and their families. As a mother I can fully appreciate how a sick child or family member impacts on all the family.  The wonderful legacy of organ donation is that it touches so many lives in such a positive way.”

Rhys’ mother Claudia said, “our family are delighted to play our part in supporting organ donation by taking part in the ‘Run for a Life’. By participating we hope that we can honour Rhys’ organ donor who has given him the chance to enjoy a normal happy childhood.  Members of our family were tested for suitability for living donation but unfortunately we were not suitable matches.  Up until his transplant, Rhys had very low energy levels and missed 86 days of his first school year. He found it difficult to hold his food down and required a feeding tube. Thanks to his transplant, he no longer requires a feeding tube and he eats all around him, he is full of energy and is enjoying Senior Infants at school.”

After being born with kidney problems Rhys underwent his first operation when he was just two weeks old. Through medical intervention, Rhys’ condition was carefully managed at Temple Street Hospital, allowing him to stave off receiving dialysis treatment until he was 4 years of age. He then underwent 10 hour dialysis treatment for 5 nights a week until he was called for his successful transplant in May this year.

Speaking in advance, Colin White, Race Organiser, (Irish Kidney Association), explained,         “the Irish Kidney Association is delighted that Miriam O’Callaghan, a well known and respected TV personality who demonstrates great empathy for people in need is backing our family event, ‘Run for a Life’, which through the participation of many transplant recipients, will showcasethe success of organ donation and transplantation and is open to all members of the general public. We encourage the general public to join us on October 13th and make a commitment to organ donation and demonstrate solidarity through participation in this fun family event.”

Mr. Stephen Joyce, Sales and Marketing Director, Astellas said, “Astellas is proud to be once again partnering with the Irish Kidney Association in Run for A Life 2012. Astellas is committed to Changing tomorrow for patients in Ireland; and raising awareness for organ donation has the potential to really change outcomes for people on transplant waiting lists. Many Astellas staff will be volunteering or participating in the event which promises to be a fun day for all !”

Those signing up for the Run for a Life will have the option of walking, jogging or running competitively in either a 3.4km, 6.7km or 10km event in Park West, Dublin 12, commencing 12 noon. There will also be an option, for the first time this year, to enter a team of three in a 3 x 3.3km Team Relay Race. The choice of events on offer makes it possible for all people, young and old, with varying levels of fitness to take part.

A large number of the members of the successful Irish team who participated in the European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Croatia in August, will take part in the Fun Run to play their part in raising organ donor awareness.

The Run for a Life has two main objectives.  Namely, to promote the organ donor card by raising awareness of the value and success of organ donation and transplantation and to raise funds to support the Irish Kidney Association in its on-going work.  

The Irish Kidney Association is charged with the promotion and distribution of the organ donor card in Ireland. The prime role of the Irish Kidney Association is to support patients and their families affected by end stage kidney disease and are either being treated by dialysis or have a working kidney transplant. 

Registration (to include t-shirt and participant medal, as well as soup and a sandwich afterwards) will be €15 for adults and €10 per child and a Family of 2 adults and up to 4 children can register for €35. Teams (3 adults) entering for the relay can register for €40. For registration and further details log on to: www.runforalife.ie

For organ donor cards Freetext DONOR to 50050 or LoCall 1890 543639

Smart phone users can download the ‘Organ Donor E-card’ app from the App store or Android Play Store.

For more information on European Day for Organ Donation & Transplantation visit http://www.edqm.eu/en/European-day-for-organ-donation-1223.html

-ENDS-

For further information contact

Colin White, IKA, Tel. 01 6205306mob. 087 6843644email colin@ika.ie

Gwen O’Donoghue, mob. 086 8241447email. gwenodonoghue1@gmail.com


Press Release Archive

05 Oct 2012 - RTE’s Miriam helps 6 year old’s family to promote ‘Run for a Life’ and to honour his organ donor

18 Oct 2011 - Press release October 18th

26 Sep 2011 - Launch of the Irish Kidney Association Run For a Life 2011

29 Jul 2010 - Run for A Life organisers urge public to carry organ donor card