New kidney is a gift for me and my family

By Mary Dennehy

THIS time last year Tallaght mother Lisa Fitzgerald was on dialysis and unsure what the future held for herself and her young family.

However, after receiving the gift of a kidney last February, Lisa’s life has been completely transformed, with the mother-of-two now hoping to share her story in a bid to raise awareness.

lisaiPiccy collage

Lisa Fitzgerald  and, on the right, Kiltipper Park where Lisa's 6km walk is set to take place 

Pregnancy highlighted an underlying issue with Lisa’s kidneys, with both kidneys failing rapidly after she gave birth to her second child two years ago.

Living on the Kiltipper Road, Lisa was, during the winter of 2018, on dialysis both at home and St Vincent’s Hospital – as she tried to care for her new baby.

“Two years ago I didn’t know what my future held, I didn’t know if I’d be around for my children… I was a very sick mam”, Lisa told The Echo.

“Until you’re in this situation you don’t know anything about it, there was no family history, I didn’t know what the future meant.”

However, in February of last year, Lisa received a call that would change her life.

“I was on dialysis for around four or five months when I got a call”, Lisa said.

“A kidney became available and it was a match.

“It transformed my life.

“Energy-wise the difference was massive, I’d been on dialysis four times a day with a young baby.

“It was a gift for me and for my family.

“After I received the kidney I wrote a letter thanking the donor’s family not only for my life but also for my kids, they knew they were going to have their mum around.

 

“I also thanked them from my parents and husband.”

Lisa, who recently started a new job, is now trying to raise awareness around organ donation, through a fundraising 6km Tallaght-based walk for the Irish Kidney Association (IKA).

“One year on, now that I am fully recovered from transplant, I would like [people] to join me, my family and friends for a great cause.

“I am organising [this walk] to raise awareness of how amazing and life changing organ donation is and to raise money for the Irish Kidney Association.”

Lisa also told The Echo that she hopes the walk will shine a spotlight on organ donation, encouraging people to have a conversation around this life-saving gift.

Lisa’s fundraising walk for the IKA is scheduled to take place at 12pm this Saturday, February 15, at Glenville Lodge on the Kiltipper Road. 

However, those interested in taking part are encouraged to keep an eye on Lisa’s Justgiving.com page, in case the walk is postponed due to bad weather.

People are also encouraged to support the walk and Lisa’s awareness campaign by making a donation on Lisa’s Justgiving page (Lisa’s fundsraising walk for The Irish Kidney Association).

At the time of The Echo going to print, the campaign has raised over €2,200. 

Further details on the Irish Kidney Association and its work can be found at IKA.

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