Page 5 - Support Magazine Autumn 2017
P. 5

IRISH KIDNEY ASSOCIATION APPOINTS


                NEW NATIONAL HONORARY CHAIRMAN






            John Whelan














                                                             he Irish Kidney Association (IKA) is delighted to announce
                                                             the appointment of John Whelan, SC, as its new National
                                                             Honorary Chairman. The outgoing Chairman, Valerie
                                                             Brady completed her two-year term of office and has
                                                             been elected as National Honorary Secretary, a role
                                                    Tpreviously held by John.
                                                       John, who underwent a kidney transplant in 2008, has been a
                                                    member of the IKA since 2006 when he and his wife Una joined
                                                    their local Dublin East + Wicklow branch following his diagnosis of
                                                    end-stage renal failure and his commencement in 2006 of dialysis
                                                    treatment. They became actively involved in the local branch, and
                                                    John was elected branch Chairman in 2010, having been elected to
                                                    the National Board in the previous year, after undergoing his
                                                    deceased donor kidney transplant.
                                                       He is a barrister and Senior Counsel by profession, and although
                                                    now retired, still engages in the occasional practice of law. Over the
                                                    past few years he served as legal adviser to the Board of Self Help
                       Africa and assisted in its merger process with Gorta.
                         In welcoming his appointment as Chairman of the Association, he said, “I am gratified and
                       humbled to have been elected to lead the IKA over the next two years. I believe the Association has
                       a vital role to play, in conjunction with the medical profession, in promoting the overall welfare of
                       those suffering from renal failure.
                         My focus will be primarily the well-being of the patient, and my aim will be to help the
                       Association to grow and to progress its essential work in the care and support of renal patients
                          In taking up my new post, I would like to especially acknowledge and thank the outgoing
                       chairperson, Valerie Brady, for her work and dedication over the past two years.”
                         John asserted, “The whole question of consent to organ donation has been a live issue over the
                       past number of years and there have been varying viewpoints on how to promote and advance the
                       level of donation. I believe that the key to progress in this regard is not through legislation but
                       through developing the infrastructure and the training and placing of more organ donor
                       coordinators in hospital intensive care units. Such programmes have been shown to significantly
                       grow the rate of organ donation in other countries.
                         A significant step in that direction has been the development of the HSE’s Organ Donation and
                       Transplant Ireland (ODTI) under the expert guidance of Professor Jim Egan, a move which is greatly
                       welcomed. I welcome the public consultation process in relation to legislation around consent for
                       organ donation as announced by Minister for Health Simon Harris recently.”
                         John, a native of Wexford, grew up in Blackrock, Co. Dublin and has been residing in Bray,
                       Co Wicklow with his wife Una for 39 years.

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