500 runners take part in the Irish Kidney Association family fun run in Corkagh Park

By William O'Connor

OVER 500 runners joined RTE’s Ray D’Arcy in the Irish Kidney Association’s family fun run, Run for a Life, in support of the charity’s work to promote the importance of organ donation and transplantation in Corkagh Park on Saturday.

The event took in over €8,000 so far between registration and doantions on the day with more expected in the coming weeks.

Runners just starting out at Run for a Life 2019 1

At the start of the Run for a Life in Corkagh Park on Saturday Photos by Arthur Carron

Ray D’Arcy, the ambassador for organ donor awareness 2019, is the first national ambassador to have run in the event which is now in its eleventh year.

Ray said: “It’s great to be part of a life affirming event like this. It fits perfectly with the many stories that I’ve heard about organ donation and the life changing affect they’ve had on the recipients and their families.

“We need to get people talking with their loved ones about organ donation... if they don’t know how you feel it’s impossible for them to make an informed decision when the unspeakable happens.”

Run for a Life Race Organiser, Colin White explained, “Our annual Run for a Life is a great day out for all of the family. It is fantastic that the weather was favorable throughout this year’s event and that nearly 500 people including transplant recipients and their families and friends from all over the country turned up to support it.

winner of the 5km event in run for a Life 1

Winner of the 5km event in Run for a Life, David Callaghan with Paulie Callaghan from Tallaght and Laura Quirke

“It’s also encouraging to see several Athletics Clubs including Tallaght AC and  Lucan Harriers, and many other running clubs and local companies represented by the likes of the large contingent of staff from Klas Telecom.

“We are also grateful to all our volunteers including members of South Dublin County Council Volunteers Corps.”

White concluded that, “The Irish Kidney Association sees this charity fundraiser as a positive way to promote organ donor awareness. The loyal support for this event is wonderful with many making it a feature on their annual calendar.” 

 The weekend of Run for Life marked the first anniversary of a life changing kidney transplant for former Roscommon club hurler David Beirne who just two months ago became a first-time father to baby Ailbhe

Winner of the 2.5km ladies race 1

Winner of the 2.5km ladies race Sharon Tighe from Kingswood Heights (a member of Tallaght AC) with Ray D’Arcy in Corkagh Park

Another proud father taking part was Martin Traynor who ran with a running group. Last month he and his partner Mary became parents to daughter Shae, their fourth child to arrive since he received two kidney transplants. Martin’s first transplant was from living donor aunt Vivienne Traynor, the RTE Courts reporter, and his second transplant was from a deceased donor.

 Volunteering as a marshal at the fun run was dialysis patient Susan Mulligan, from Castlerea, Roscommon (living in Dublin 8), and several members of her family have kidney disease (PKD) including her father who underwent a kidney transplant.

Members of the inspiring Transplant Team Ireland who will participate in the World Transplant Games in Newcastle this August were also there to support Run for a Life.

See photos on page 59 of this weeks Echo.

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