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Darren speaking at the European
                   Acceptance is such

                 a key word in dealing

                     with any illness.

          I adapted to dialysis, I  Association I have spoken
          started giving talks in   at the European Parliament.
          schools thanks to an      Present were Members of
          initiative started by     Parliament, pharmaceutical
          Westport Lions Club, which  and patient representatives.
          I had recently joined. I went  This talk led to more
          from school to school     speeches and I now find
          telling of my experiences  myself speaking part-time
          and explaining about donor  all over Ireland and Europe.
          cards. The teachers found it  It has become a passion
          greatly helped the kids in  to share the positive
          terms of hearing stories of  experiences garnered from
          overcoming adversity and  kidney failure. These
          positive mental health.   experiences, challenging at
            These talks were like   the time, showed me
          therapy for me. I was     lessons you can learn
          opening up to students in  through adversity such as                               Darren at the Dublin Bay Swim

                                                                                          When you are young
                                                                                        with kidney failure and on
                                                                                        dialysis the thought of
                                                                                        living a normal life,
                                                                                        travelling, working or
                                                                                        having children never seem
                                                                                        possible. But the time on
                                                                                        dialysis is where you have
                                                                                        the opportunity to think
                                                                                        about your illness and your
                                                                                        life. It is where you develop
                                                                                        resilience and adaptability.
                                                                                          When I received my
                                                                                        second transplant I realised
                                                                                        I was a much stronger
                                                                                        person thanks to my time
                                                                                        on dialysis. I could get
                                                                                        married with confidence. I
                                                                                        went back to college doing
                                                                                        a Masters in Health
         Darren with Taoiseach Enda Kenny                                               Promotion with confidence.
                                                                                        And with the birth or our
          ways I never had with     resilience, adaptability and  being so fit and active  first child, Iarlaith, I look to
          family and friends and the  a different viewpoint on  removed all the excuses I  the future with confidence.
          result was I became happier  life.                  had carried around for      Transplantation works,
          and more at ease with       While on dialysis I     years. Winning the 100m   but do not forget to learn
          myself. I had finally     competed in the European  final at the Dublin Games  the lessons that dialysis can
          accepted myself and my    Transplant & Dialysis     in 2010 was one of my     teach you.
          illness.                  Games. The positive       greatest experiences and
            Acceptance is such a key  aspects of these games  led to some friends jokingly
          word in dealing with any  would fill a 20,000 word  referring to me as the      Darren can be contacted
          illness.                  thesis. Discovering other  ‘Fastest sick person in   with questions or queries
            Through the Irish Kidney  people with a similar illness  Europe!’  

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