Roscommon transplant recipients in life-affirming ‘Run For A Life’

Four transplant recipients, together with family and friends, gathered at the scenic Burgess Park in Athlone on the banks of the River Shannon to highlight the Irish Kidney Association’s third virtual ‘Run for a Life’, a family fun run which will take place between the 21st and 28th of May.

This year a 7×7 Challenge has been introduced to the Run for a Life event to shine a light on the profound life-affirming act of organ donation and that one organ donor can save 7 lives.

Promoting the event were kidney transplant recipients Phelim O’Neill from Roscommon and Cathy Smyth from Coosan, Athlone, Co. Westmeath who both underwent their transplants at Beaumont Hospital.

Phelim, formerly a goalkeeper with Clann na nGael – and who also played for Roscommon – was accompanied by his wife Tracy and their two-and-a-half-year-old twins Cára and Ken. Phelim is enjoying good health because of the kidney transplant he received from a deceased donor 26 years ago.

Cathy Smyth is enjoying the successful kidney transplant she received 8 years ago (also from a deceased donor).

Also there to promote the run was nine-year-old Caeden Geoghegan with his mother Denise Geoghegan (41) from Mountmellick, Co. Laois who, following two false calls, received her life-saving heart transplant at

the Mater Hospital in Dublin in 2020. Denise’s friends Karen Ravenhill from Tullamore, Co. Offaly and Claire Gillespie from Lecarrow, Co Roscommon will be among seven friends taking part in Run for a Life. Registration is €10 per person (or €25 for a family of two adults and up to two children) and people can choose to run, jog or walk 2.5km, 5km or 10km once or as many times as they like between Saturday, 21st and Saturday, 28th of May.

To register, log on to www.ika.ie/runforalife. See also www.ika.ie/get-a-donor-card