You are currently viewing Team IKA comes together

Team IKA comes together

PRESS RELEASE                   2nd June 2024

Ladies lead the way for IKA in VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in support of kidney patients and organ donation 

(photos by Arthur Carron tel. 085 1229291 – no repro fee)

NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were model Katie O’Connor and Sharon Gleeson, Kilkenny. Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Picture: Arthur Carron
NO FEE PICTURES
2/6/24 Taking part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon in Dublin today for the Irish Kidney Association (www.ika.ie) in recognition of the charity’s work supporting kidney patients and their families and in the promotion of organ donor awareness were Sharon Gleeson, Kilkenny. Picture: Arthur Carrons

This year’s VHI Women’s Mini Marathon witnessed an extraordinary journey of resilience and gratitude as Orla Canning, a simultaneous kidney and pancreas transplant recipient, from Carlow town, took part in the event with her six friends (from Carlow, Laois and Kildare) to raise funds for the Irish Kidney Association (IKA).

Orla is just one of several inspiring women who stepped out to complete the 10km distance who have been touched by organ failure and celebrating the gift of life including: Four nurses from St. Michael’s C Ward renal unit at Temple Street Children’s Hospital including Ruth Keogh,  from Clondalkin, Niamh Power, Tallaght, Aisling Dunne from Beaumont, and Lauren Fitzgibbons from Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim – a link to their fundraiser platform is www.justgiving.com/page/ruth-keogh-1715765741584;   three cousins from Kilmanagh, Kilkenny Louise Ronan (18) and Katie Ronan (16) and their older cousin Sharon Gleeson are supporting the work of the IKA as their 88-year-old grandfather John Ronan who is undergoing dialysis treatment, and with them was John’s daughter Nora Gleeson (Sharon’s mother) and her sister in law Assumpta O’Brien  – a link to their fundraising platform is I am raising funds for Irish Kidney Association (givengain.com) ; and Pamela Proudfoot from Kingscourt, Cavan who was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease  after a routine blood test stepped out for the event with her two friends Deborah Lowth from Duleek, Co Meath and Catherina McGuirk from Magheracloone, Co Monaghan. To support Pamela’s fundraiser visit Pamela Proudfoot IKA VHI MINI MARATHON

Others ladies lacing up their shoes in support of the IKA were  Aoife McGauran from Ballinree, Longford whose father underwent a transplant four years ago along with successful model Katie O’Connor from Tallaght who is signed to the Andrea Roche Model Agency  whose father is a dialysis patient. Both Katie and her mother Priscilla, who also completed  the 10km distance set up a fundraising page to support the IKA iDonate.ie | Support Oconnor ladies fundraising for Chronic K…

Orla  Canning (33) is celebrating a remarkable recovery from the double transplant she received in 2022 that has given her a new lease on life after nearly 21 years of insulin dependency and the later onset of kidney disease. Orla was selected as the VHI Women’s Mini-Marathon representative for County Carlow.  Orla’s Just Giving online fundraising platform is https://www.justgiving.com/page/orla-canning-1715197275459  

Diagnosed with diabetes at the age of twelve, up until her transplant Orla underwent daily insulin injections for nearly two decades. Her health took a further downturn in her mid-twenties soon after the unexpected death of her father John Canning, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease leading to further health setbacks and extreme fatigue due to declining kidney function. In 2019, Orla was placed on the transplant waiting list, enduring a three-year wait before receiving her life-changing transplant in late Summer 2022.

“The transplant has been nothing short of miraculous,” Orla shared. “I’ve got my life and future back, all because someone made the selfless decision to donate. I am unbelievably grateful for that gift from a stranger.”

Before the transplant, Orla struggled with daily activities, often only managing to go to work and then straight to bed due to exhaustion. Now, she is embracing life to the fullest and is eagerly anticipating her wedding in June 2025, when she marries  Alan Beaton from Bagenalstown, Carlow who she met 9 years ago. She credits Alan for standing by her throughout her health challenges and who despite her ailing health became her fiancé a month before she was called for her transplant. Orla’s renewed vitality post-transplant has also reignited her passion for travel and sports, activities she had to give up due to her illness.

Reflecting on her journey, Orla recalls the challenges of being diagnosed with diabetes at such a young age, missing a lot of school, and having to give up sports and lots of fun activities with her friends. Despite these obstacles, she managed to finish school, attend university at DCU, and reassure her devoted mother that she could independently take responsibility for her health. These achievements boosted her confidence and self belief.

“The physical transformation of receiving a double transplant is truly life changing but I found the emotional process overwhelming with thoughts for my donor and their grieving family.  I have found invaluable support through the Irish Kidney Association’s free counselling services. The charity’s support through my kidney disease diagnosis and journey pre and post-transplant surgery is immeasurable. They are a constant source of information, help, support ad guidance for families living with kidney disease while also raising awareness about the importance of organ donation.”

To give back, Orla and her six friends are taking part in the mini-marathon including fellow Carlow friends including Laura Hyland, from Brownshill, Anne Williamson, from Ballon,  Clare Thomson, Carlow town,  Niamh Croke, Old Leighlin, Carlow, as well as Carlow native Eamie Bolgerm  who is now living in Ballyburn, Co Kildare, and Anne Marie Ramsbottom from Ballyadams, who attended school in Carlow and is married to farmer Sean Ramsbottom and living in Timahoe Co Laois.  Sean, widely known for his prize-winning heifers,  supported Orla’s fundraising efforts for the IKA in an unusual way – he pledged €500 of the proceeds from a raffle for an embryo of his prizewinning herd. Following Sean’s example, a farmer friend of his also donated €500.

Orla explained, “In the later stages of my kidney failure, even a simple walk wasn’t possible. I’ll never forget hitting the milestone of walking 2,000 steps eight weeks post-transplant. To think I will be doing 10K in the mini marathon is almost unimaginable, but I am really looking forward to it and having my friends there to support me,”

 “I’d like to thank all the medical and nursing staff in St. Vincent’s Hospital and Beaumont Hospital that looked after me, my consultants including Beaumont nephrologist Dr. Denton, transplant surgeon Tom Gallagher at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the transplant coordinators there including Caroline, Maura and Suzy. Along with my wonderful fiancé Alan,  I’d also like to acknowledge the unstinting loving care of my mother Elizabeth and my sister Lydia who flew home with her partner Antonio when I was called for my transplant operation to be at my bedside for two weeks and help mind my dog Alfie. My employers EBS Carlow have been very supportive also. But most of all I’d like to thank my donor!

“By raising funds for the Irish Kidney Association, I hope to increase awareness about the vital work they do in supporting patients and their families and the importance of organ donation.”

In gratitude to all the ladies taking part to support the work of the Irish Kidney Association, they were gifted a bright yellow IKA branded t-shirt which they proudly wore along the 10km route.  As transplant recipients are at greater risk of skin cancer due to their anti-rejection medication the IKA ‘thank you’ goodie bags which included an organ donor card and suncare products which La Roche Posay kindly sponsored.

Find out more about Orla’s inspiring story and her Women’s Mini Marathon challenge through her Just Giving online fundraising platform https://www.justgiving.com/page/orla-canning-1715197275459

 

Individuals who wish to support organ donation by sharing their wishes with their loved ones are encouraged to keep the reminders of their decision available by carrying the organ donor card, permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license, or having the ‘digital organ donor card’ App on their smartphone. Organ Donor Cards can be requested by visiting the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) website www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card  or phoning the IKA on Tel. 01 6205306

-Ends-

For more information contact:

Gwen O’Donoghue, Media Relations, Irish Kidney Association.

Email. gwen@ika.ie Mob tel. 086 8241447