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Joe Duffy Supports Organ Donor Awareness Week

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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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