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Being photographers Ken  months due to
        and Áine had always tried to  complications. He has been
        see the beauty in life but for  undergoing different types
        the past few years Ken had  of dialysis treatment over
        been silently suffering.   the past 12 years including a
        Diagnosed with kidney      form of home dialysis, then
        disease when he was only   progressing to hospital
        17, he learned that he too  based haemodialysis which
        might follow in the        involved journeys to
        footsteps of his father,   Beaumont Hospital three
        Anthony Byrne, and also like  times a week for treatment
        his father, would eventually  before eventually returning
        require dialysis treatment or  to home haemodialysis.
        a kidney transplant.         Seeing his father’s health
           Anthony had a troubled  struggles only spurred Ken
        health history with an     on to seek an explanation
        emergency kidney           for what he considered to
        transplant when he was in  be a family curse! Finally in
                                                                Anthony and Ken Byrne
        his 30s and shortly after the  2013 their family was tested
        operation he was           and research in America
        hospitalised for over three  revealed that they had a  very unique UMOD gene,   again. What Áine has done
                                                              which is a defective protein  for me is indescribable. She
                                              Keelin,  Áine, Fía, Ken  in the kidney. Having finally  is my queen and I cannot
                                                              found an answer to their  wait to marry her! I have my
                                                              condition they were still no  life back, Áine by my side,
                                                              closer to finding a cure and  our children in tow, a
                                                              Ken would still require a  camera in my hand and a
                                                              donor kidney. Three years  bright future in front of us.
                                                              previously Áine and Ken   So bring it on!"
                                                              attended a meeting at        The couple shared their
                                                              Beaumont Hospital with    transplant success and love
                                                              Professor Peter Conlon    story on Facebook when
                                                              when Áine volunteered to  Ken returned home from
                                                              go forward for testing to  hospital three weeks after
                                                              donate one of her kidneys  Áine. Their post, which was
                                                              to Ken.                   shared on their Facebook
                                                                Áine explained, "When   photography business page
                                                              people ask me why I       (Ken Byrne Photography)
                                                              decided to give Ken one of  reached over 30,000 views
                                                              my kidneys the answer is  revealing to the public their
                                                              simple. It’s Ken, My Ken! I  secret battle and raising
                                                              couldn’t be without him and  awareness about organ
                                                              I couldn’t imagine him being  donation.
                                                              tied to dialysis like so many  Áine stated, “You don’t
                                                              others! I want our children  have to be Superman to
                                                              to have a healthy daddy,  save a life, there are heroes
                                                              one they can play with and  all around us. We are all
                                                              not have to be careful    capable of saving others
                                                              around. I know in my heart  and all it takes is to carry
                                                              he would do the same for  an organ donor card and tell
                                                              me. I did it willingly and he  your family your wishes to
                                                              didn’t have to ask.”      be an organ donor so that
                                                                Despite a few           others on transplant
                                                              complications following the  waiting lists might receive
                                                              transplant surgery in which  the ‘gift of life’.
                                                              Ken’s immune system          You only have to walk the
                                                              required a cocktail of    halls of Beaumont Hospital
                                                              medication the couple made  to see people in need of a
                                                              a speedy recovery.        life-saving transplant.
                                                                Ken says of his            Rather than bringing
                                                              experience, "I haven’t felt  your organs with you to
                                                              this good since I was 16. I  your grave you might be
                                                              can actually think clearly,  able to save someone else’s
                                                              look at life and truly enjoy it  life."

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