Page 25 - Support Magazine Winter 2017
P. 25

“Becoming part of



                                      TRANSPLANT TEAM IRELAND




                                      is one of the BEST and most




                     By               SPECIAL things I have done.”
             AOIFE MURRAY

              efore I met the group it was daunting as I didn't  Becoming part of Transplant Team Ireland really does
              know what to expect. I felt like I would be ‘the new  mean you have a team support behind you before, during
              person’ joining an established group. But this really  and after the games.
        Bwas not the case. From the first trip to ALSAA I       There is always someone on the team WhatsApp group
        knew I was part of something really special and this was  celebrating good news and sometimes getting bad news.
        the friendliest group of people to be sharing this journey. I  Everyone gets behind everyone else through the good and
        was made part of the family from day one.             the bad, which is what families are all about!
           Being part of the Games all became real when myself
        and my mam turned up at Dublin Airport to fly to Malaga.
        It's only when you see everyone in team tracksuits, athletes
        and supporters that you realise what is just about to
        happen.
           We are going to be competing for our country on a
        world stage at these Games, promoting the benefits of
        organ donation and doing it for our donors. Proving to
        ourselves, and others, that there is an amazing life after
        transplantation if we just grab it. The excitement and
        anticipation was unreal!
           My event was first up on the schedule, this is when it hit
        home that this was a world event. I got on the bus at
        7.15am and travelled to the grounds with 5 other
        nationalities. It's such an amazing experience to be
        interacting and competing with people from so many
        different countries. Plus, everyone has one thing in
        common, somebody somewhere has donated them an
        organ and saved their lives.
           It's one of the biggest things for me personally to be
        surrounded by people that have been through what I've
        been through, all with their own stories to tell or not tell
        and to just be normal in a group for the first time ever.
           So much of your support throughout the week comes
        from the team itself. We have a great background team
        behind us all the way. If there are questions, worries or
        confusion about absolutely anything, Colin and Harry are
        on hand to give answers, reassurance and the best advice
        while having great fun along the way!
           We are lucky enough to travel with our own team
        doctor, the amazing ever present Claire who looks out for
        all of us throughout the week without us even realising. As
        does Sarah May our very own Blogger/Buddy to all, sending
        our important message and the team’s progress throughout              Sinead McGowan, Sheila Gregan
        the week back home to Gwen to work her magic and
        spread to our followers and the general public in Ireland.  For anybody considering taking part in the Games for
           As for the other members of the team, they really are  the first time, from a first-timer, I would just say do it, you
        another family. When they're not competing themselves,  won't regret it for a second. It's a wonderful experience
        they are out around stadiums supporting those of us that  with special people and I intend to continue my
        are.                                                  involvement for many years to come!
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