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IKA and Seanad on debate & revision on organ donation and transplantation

The Board of the Irish Kidney Association and some members of Seanad Eireann have expressed their dissatisfaction with Ireland’s first ever primary legislation on organ donation and transplantation, in the history of the state, which was signed into law by the Health Minister on 27th August.

Senator Mark Daly is leading the charge for the new legislation  to be debated in Seanad Eireann by exercising an unprecedented utilisation of one of the Seanad’s powers.  By securing a petition to the Cathaorelacht of 20 or more Senator signatories the legislation can be debated and proposals for revisions and improvements can be implemented retrospectively.

Having submitted the petition this week, Senator Daly said “as the Irish Kidney Association’s nominee to the Seanad, I was greatly disappointed that no debate took place in the Dail, Seanad or the Health Committee prior to the Minister signing into law, via Statutory Instrument No. 325, the first ever legislation on organ donation and transplantation. I look forward to the Minister coming before the Seanad and taking on board its concerns and recommendations as well as those of the greater organ donation and transplant community.”

Earlier this week, the Board of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) unanimously passed a resolution expressing disappointment at the Department of Health’s ‘weak’ response to the initiative of the ‘EU Commission’s 10-point Action Plan for Organ Donation and Transplantation’  first published in 2008.  The IKA expected the ‘EU Directive, passed in 2010, on the Quality and Safety of Organ Donation and Transplantation’ which was transposed into Irish Law would provide general leadership to the organ donation and transplant community, by also embracing the EU 10-point action plan.

According to The Irish Kidney Association’s Chief Executive, Mr. Mark Murphy,  the legislation “only does the bare minimum required by the directive largely ignoring the action plan”.

“This is a lost opportunity,” said Mark Murphy. “We were expecting clear leadership to emerge from the Department of Health and what we have got is a list of shared and divided responsibilities, between the Health Service Executive and the Irish Medicines Board, and no singular competent authority to drive the action plan into the health system, just the bare statutory requirements of the directive”.

“Ireland’s compliance with the directive means that we have the most changes to make of any European member state as we have, never before, legislated for organ donation and

transplantation.  Much of the changes required to comply with the directive have to do with our lack of licensing or regulation of our Hospitals’ operating theatres and the reorganisation of existing roles in the health service.

The programme for Government does contain a paragraph indicating its willingness to improve the availability of organs for patients in desperate need.

The IKA had great expectations for real improvements and advancements for organ donation and transplantation via Ireland’s adoption of this EU Directive and Action Plan. The IKA is deeply disappointed that the financial savings, achievable from adopting the action plan, have not been recognised, NOR the quantity of life improvements and life saving opportunities that more organ donation brings.”

European Transplant Games – Press Release 26th August, 2012

IRELAND IN TOP THREE MEDALS TABLE AT EUROPEAN TRANSPLANT GAMES

WITH SPECIAL AWARD FOR BEST FEMALE ATHLETE

An air of celebration and pride swept through Dublin Airport’s arrivals hall on Saturday night, 25th August, when Transplant Team Ireland arrived home with 50 medals. The brave athletes breezed through Terminal 2 adorned with their impressive haul from the 7th European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Zagreb, Croatia.

Members of the 26-strong team were greeted with a rapturous welcome by family, friends and supporters celebrating their achievement in winning 14 Gold, 15 Silver and 21 Bronze. This scoop placed Ireland in 3rd place on the medals table after France and Slovenia out of 28 participating countries.

Further cause for celebration was that newcomer to the team Alison Honner  was announced ‘Best Female Athlete on Dialysis’ at the Games’ Gala Dinner closing ceremony. The 26 year-old from Pike-of-Rushall, Portlaoise demonstrated great spirit and determination at the Games securing a Silver for Bowling and Bronze in Badminton as well as a category Gold medal in a Bowling doubles event along with Athenry woman, Linda Waters.

One of the highlights of the homecoming for the team was to see Transplant Surgeon David Hickey in the welcoming party and it was particularly heartening for a number of the athletes who had their kidney transplants conducted by the former 1970s Dublin Football All-Star.   Mr Hickey described the athletes as ‘true Corinthians and more’.

Speaking about her complete surprise in being awarded ‘Best Female Athlete on Dialysis’ at the Games, Alison Honner, said, “I’m overwhelmed. It’s a privilege to win such an award and to come home with the award and medals is fantastic. Not only am I thrilled, I’m over the moon”.

Commenting about the Games experience, Team Manager Colin White said, “we received a warm welcome in Croatia with temperatures regularly reaching over 40 degrees throughout the week. Notwithstanding, the Irish team kept its cool to pull off some great performances. The team was family to us all with great support at every venue. The Games experience goes beyond simple sports competitions. The bond between competitors from all countries was palpable and the united desire to express appreciation to organ donors and their families was humbling. Transplant and dialysis sports is growing consistently in Ireland and we look forward to many more people joining our team in time for the 2013 World Transplant Games in Durban, South Africa.”

The unique Games which promote organ donation and celebrate life though sport brought together 300 athletes from 28 European countries.

The biennial event was hailed as an outstanding success both on and off the sporting field as all those taking part were united in sharing a common and poignant bond. They all had suffered organ failure and many were embracing a second chance at life, while honouring their organ donors through sport.

The Games were held from August 18th to 25th and involved athletes who received organ transplants including heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas as well as people on dialysis.

The Irish team of athletes includes 17 men and 9 women, ranging in age from 18 to 74, from all over Ireland. The team includes 6 people who are receiving dialysis treatment as well as transplant recipients including 2 kidney and pancreas combined, 3 liver transplant recipients, and 15 kidney transplant recipients.

Athletes competed in badminton, tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, table tennis, ten-pin bowling, volleyball, mini-marathon and track and field events.

Transplant Team Ireland Games Manager Colin White said, “just as our Olympians on their return from London 2012 wished us good luck and success, we would also like to pass on our best wishes to our Paralympics Team at the Games which commence later this week.”

Members of Transplant Team Ireland are as follows:-

Antrim: John McAleer, Newtownabbey.
Cork: Mike Keohane, Roscarbery; Charlie Ryan, Cobh;  Catherine Murphy, Aghabullogue; and Anne Lankester, Roscarbery
Clare: Eoghan O’Neill, Newmarket-on-Fergus (now living in Limerick)
Donegal: Noel McGeever, Letterkenny
Galway: Maura O’Sullivan, Kilcolgan; and Linda Waters, Athenry.
Kildare: James Nolan, The Curragh.
Laois: Alison Honner, Portlaoise; Niall McAuliffe, Abbeyleix; and Robbie Lyons (youngest team member), the Swan, via Athy.
Limerick: John Loftus, Clarina.
Offaly: Declan Guing, Edenderry
Roscommon: Monica Finn, Roscommon town. and Shane Lafferty, Monksland, Athlone.
Sligo: Bridie Nicholson, Sligo town and Megan Fahy from Toonaphubble.
Tipperary: Sheila Gregan, Nenagh.
Dublin: Leonard Ryan, Tallaght, D.24; James Reynolds, Tallaght, D.24, Paul Prendergast, Santry Avenue, D.9; Owen Kelleher, Lucan; Peter Heffernan, Skerries  and Team Captain, Harry Ward, Baldoyle, D.13;
Team Medical Director  Yvonne Ryan
Team Physiotherapist   Clare Hogan
Team Manager    Colin White

A team blog was set up where supporters could follow the Irish Team’s progress  www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com

The 8th European Transplant & Dialysis Games will be held in Krakow, Poland in 2014.

The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for organising the Irish Team’s involvement at Transplant & Dialysis Games. It receives no government funding for its sports programme and many of the athletes fundraise to cover their costs in taking part.

For an organ donor card Freetext the word DONOR to 50050 or visit website www.ika.ie  It is now possible to download an organ donor card on smartphones  by searching for ‘Organ Donor ECard’  at the iphone store or android market place.

 

PRESS RELEASE 17th August, 2012

Olympic medallists urge Transplant Team to ‘go for gold’
as
Messages of support abound for brave athletes who fly out to
European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Croatia

Katie Taylor and her fellow Irish Olympians were amongst the many well-wishers who sent messages of support to the 26 brave athletes who will fly out to Zagreb, Croatia today for the 7th European Transplant & Dialysis Games.   Hoping to emulate the recent success of our Olympians at London 2012, 17 men and 9 women, will represent their country and celebrate life through sport as well as promote organ donation.

Ranging in age from 18 to 74, Transplant Team Ireland will be the biggest team to compete at the forthcoming Games which will take place from 18th – 25th August and will involve over 300 athletes from 28 countries throughout Europe. The Irish athletes gathered for a pre-departure reception at the Clarion Hotel, Dublin Airport earlier today encouraged by the many letters of support they received and which are now proudly posted on the team blog www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com  Members of the public can also offer messages of support in its Guestbook.

A letter from Team Ireland – London Olympics 2012 said, “we’ve had a great Olympics in London, thanks to the support of everyone, including the entire Transplant team. Now it is our turn to say ‘go for gold’ and we hope our Transplant athletes will come back with lots of medals and personal bests. Here’s to a superb event and lots of success. From Sonia, Katie, John Joe, Paddy, Michael, Cian, Annalise, Rob and Team Ireland – London 2012”.

Other well-wishers included the inspirational explorer, adventure athlete and author Mark Pollock who wrote, “as the Irish Team prepare for the European Transplant & Dialysis Games I want to pass on my best wishes to all the athletes. As a former able bodied athlete who has continued to compete after acquiring both blindness and paralysis, I understand how important competitive sport is for the health of the body and mind. Enjoy the competition, enjoy the hardship and enjoy the glory.”

Endorsements also came from the sporting body Athletics Ireland, the Minister for Sport and Tourism, medical professionals, the transplant community and the general public.

The Minister for Sport & Tourism Leo Varadkar, in wishing the team luck at the Games, said that “each of you have persevered along a difficult path to get to this stage. It is a tremendous honour that you as athletes, your families and friends should be very proud of.  I am certain that all 26 athletes will be marvelous ambassadors for Ireland, representing both your country and your sport with honour and pride. As well as competing at the Games you are also highlighting the enormous benefits that organ donation and transplant brings.”

In a letter from Athletics Ireland, Mr. John Foley, Chief Executive  said that he agreed with a comment by Transplant Surgeon and former seventies football All Star David Hickey when he gave a motivational talk to Transplant Team Ireland referring to them as “true Corinthians and more”. Mr Foley said “I agree totally with this description and commend you and all the people involved in the Irish Kidney Association for your work in supporting the team and for your on-going support of patients and their families affected by kidney disease”.

Director of the National Organ Donation & Transplantation Office, Prof. Jim Egan, in his message of encouragement said “it is testament to the courage of families of the donors and recipients that this event is taking place with a strong Irish representation”. Prof. Egan’s letter also commended “the efforts of Intensive Care Staff around the country who underpin the transplant services in Beaumont Hospital, St. Vincent’s University Hospital and the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital”. Prof. Egan asserted that the Irish Team’s participation at the Games “is a huge mark of respect to Irish citizens who participate in a strong culture of organ donation”.

Speaking about the forthcoming European Games, Mr. Colin White, Team Manager said, “we are delighted with the support we have received from all sections of the community. I am excited about this year’s Games in Zagreb. The Irish Team has a great reputation for fair play and strong competitiveness at international events. Our team of 26 competitors, including 6 newcomers, has prepared well and we are looking forward to joining our friends from across Europe in celebrating life through sport. The message from these Games is clear – Organ Donation Works! I encourage the public to Think About It, Talk About It and make a commitment to Organ Donation.”

Team Captain Harry Ward from Baldoyle, Dublin has represented Ireland at numerous international Games events both as a dialysis patient and in more recent years as a transplant recipient thanks to his kidney transplant which he received in 2007.

Athletes will compete in badminton, tennis, cycling, darts, golf, petanque, swimming, table tennis, ten pin bowling, tennis, volleyball, mini-marathon and track and field events.

Supporters can follow the Irish team’s progress and post messages of support in a guestbook on a blog www.transplantteamireland.wordpress.com   Further information can also be obtained from the Games website www.etdg2012zagreb.com

Members of Transplant Team Ireland are as follows:-

Antrim: John McAleer, Newtownabbey.
Cork: Mike Keohane, Roscarbery; Charlie Ryan, Cobh;  Catherine Murphy, Aghabullogue; and Anne Lankester, Roscarbery
Clare: Eoghan O’Neill, Newmarket-on-Fergus (now living in Limerick)
Donegal: Noel McGeever, Letterkenny
Galway: Maura O’Sullivan, Kilcolgan; and Linda Waters, Athenry.
Kildare: James Nolan, The Curragh.
Laois: Alison Honner, Portlaoise; Niall McAuliffe, Abbeyleix; and Robbie Lyons (youngest team member), the Swan, via Athy.
Limerick: John Loftus, Clarina.
Offaly: Declan Guing, Edenderry
Roscommon: Monica Finn, Roscommon town.
and Shane Lafferty, Monksland, Athlone.
Sligo: Bridie Nicholson, Sligo town and Megan Fahy from Toonaphubble.
Tipperary: Sheila Gregan, Nenagh.
Dublin: Leonard Ryan, Tallaght, D.24; James Reynolds, Tallaght, D.24,
Paul Prendergast, Santry Avenue, D.9; Owen Kelleher, Lucan; Peter Heffernan, Skerries  and Team Captain, Harry Ward, Baldoyle, D.13;
Team Medical Director  Yvonne Ryan
Team Physiotherapist   Clare Hogan
Team Manager    Colin White

For an organ donor card Freetext the word DONOR to 50050 or visit website www.ika.ie  It is now possible to download an organ donor card on smartphones  by searching for ‘Organ Donor ECard’  at the iphone store or android market place.

The team will arrive home from the European Games at approximately 11.20pm on Saturday night, 25th August into Terminal Two at Dublin airport on an Aer Lingus flight from Budapest (EI0679).

7th European Transplant & Dialysis Games

Transplant Team Ireland will be participating in the 7th European Transplant & Dialysis Games in Zagreb, Croatia from August 17th-25th.  This year’s squad is made up of 20 transplant recipients and 6 people on dialysis and there is representation from all around the country. If you would like to follow the progress of the Team through Games week check out the Team Blog by clicking on the Team logo below.  We will have regular updates every day and, depending on wifi access, we are hoping to be able to broadcast live from some venues! You will see that there is a Guestbook on the Team Blog so why not leave a message of support?!

Transplant Team Ireland goes for gold at European gamesIrish Independent 20th August

 

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Organ Donor Card promotional Video

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5 Nations Transplant Golf Tournament

The Irish Kidney Association cordially invites you to participate in this year’s 5 Nations Transplant Golf Tournament that will be held from June 1st-June 3rd (June Bank Holiday Weekend. We will use the Ashbourne House Hotel in Asbourne for accommodation and St. Margaret’s Golf Club, a short drive away, for the competition. The event is open to all golfers (transplant recipients, people on dialysis as well as family, friends and supporters). Please check the links below for more detail. You can also register for the event on-line at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5NationsGolf2012.

Click on the links below for PDF’s:

Medical Form
Registration
Flyer

Joe Duffy Supports Organ Donor Awareness Week

New Click here for photo gallery
Organ donations at highest level in 2011 – RTE News 26th March 2012

RTE TV and radio presenter, Joe Duffy, has pledged his support, for the second successive year, to highlighting the annual Organ Donor Awareness Week campaign. The campaign, which is organised by the Irish Kidney Association and supported by the Irish Donor Network, will take place from 31st March until 7th April, 2012.

Joe Duffy’s radio show, ‘Liveline’, generated a massive public response in September 2009, when Joe interviewed his personal friend, Emmy award screenwriter Frank Deasy, on the subject just days before his death from liver cancer. Sadly, in the same week as the interview Frank, the father of three died whilst undergoing his urgent liver transplant operation. His remarkable legacy was a surge in organ donor cards requests by the public which remains unprecedented with over 15,000 individual requests in just one week. Since then, Joe Duffy has continued to highlight the plight of people with organ failure on Ireland’s most popular radio show.

Speaking about his involvement with the awareness campaign, Joe said, “it is a privilege to be involved with this important campaign for a second year. Many of us have known someone who has experienced organ failure. In many cases their only chance of survival is a life saving organ transplant. It is thanks to the generosity of deceased donors and their families consent to donate their loved ones organs that almost 2,600 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life as a result of receiving organ transplants. It is heartening to hear that there was an unprecedented number of organ transplants in Ireland last year and I hope this success continues. The legacy of organ donation for transplantation is immeasurable. I would encourage everyone to carry an organ donor card and have a discussion with their loved ones about their decision to donate in the event of their untimely death”.
The 2012 campaign will include Joe Duffy featuring in radio advertising as well as on posters encouraging the public to carry an organ donor card. He will also attend the campaign’s national launch at the Mansion House, Dublin on Monday, 26th March.

There are currently over 650 people in Ireland awaiting life saving organ transplants including heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas. The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is to raise awareness about the ongoing and ever increasing demand for organ donation and transplantation and to seek support from the public to make an informed decision to carry an organ donor card.

Organ Donor Awareness Week also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association. Throughout the Week ( 31st March- 7th April, 2012), Irish Kidney Association volunteers will be out on the streets and in shopping centres throughout the country selling ‘forget me not flower’ emblems (the symbol of transplantation), brooches, magnetic car ribbons and pens. Proceeds will go to the Irish Kidney Association’s support programme for patients on dialysis and those patients fortunate enough to have a kidney transplant. The support programme includes the running of a 10 double room accommodation facility for patients families in the grounds of Beaumont Hospital and holiday centres in Kerry and Tramore, as well as patient aid and counseling services, patient training and rehabilitative work placement, health promotion and the provision of kidney patient information and education.

The Irish Kidney Association is the organisation charged with the promotion and distribution of the organ donor card in Ireland on behalf of all patient groups with an interest in organ donation that form the Irish Donor Network.

Free information factfiles which accompany organ donor cards are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and Citizen Information Offices.

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website www.ika.ie

It is now possible to store an organ donor card, the ‘ecard’ on Smart mobile phones. Simply search for ‘Donor ECard’ at the IPhone Store or Android Market Place.

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