Latest Laois News: Irish Diaspora come together for Organ Donation Awareness Virtual Video Chain

Latest Laois News: Irish Diaspora come together for Organ Donation Awareness Virtual Video Chain

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish Say ……Life is A Gift Pass It On

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Irish Diaspora scattered all around the world, many of them touched by organ donation, have united for a virtual video chain with each person passing on the organ donor card and declaring ‘Life is a Gift, Pass it On’.  This novel global initiative by the Irish Kidney Association, involving Irish people pledging their support to organ donation, comes just over a week before the life saving campaign, Organ Donor Awareness Week (27th March – 3rd April). The link to the video is:

 Actress and singer Angeline Ball whose niece Saoirse underwent a liver transplant in 2014

 It is hoped that this online video chain will be the catalyst for more videos and photo sharing with lots of discussion about organ donation and people sharing their wishes with their loved ones in person and in online chats and social media posts #LifeIsAGift #DonorWeek21.

Leading the Diaspora chain gang in the video recorded from her home in London, is talented actress and singer Angeline Ball whose niece Saoirse underwent a liver transplant in 2014. On home soil and aptly wearing Green for St Patrick’s Day is RTE news reporter, Vivienne Traynor, a kidney donor.  

RTE news reporter, Vivienne Traynor, a kidney donor

To subscribe to the Irish Kidney Association YouTube Channel click here.

Supporting the cause from Dubai are Cork twins and teachers Edel and Julie Coyne whose mother Amanda received a kidney donation from her sister Fra in December 2020. Kidney transplant recipients’ diaspora involved include: Galway woman Sinead McGowan standing in front of Sydney Harbour Bridge.  The scenic backdrop for kidney transplant recipient and Mullingar native John Connell is a cloud covered Table Mountain in Capetown while his fellow Westmeath native and kidney transplant recipient Claire Dolan, from Moate, can be seen at the top of her office building in Vancouver, Canada.

Saoirse Perry with then Minister for Health Leo Varadkar T.D.

Also featuring is bone marrow transplant recipient Trevor Lynch, a Limerick native, now living in Buckinghamshire, England. Other Irish diaspora were eager to help spread organ donor awareness from places as far away as New York, North America (from Wicklow); HoChi Minh City (Saigon) (from Tipperary)and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (from Cork); Wellington, New Zealand; and Amsterdam, Netherlands (from Kilbeggan).

The video shows how Irish people receiving the gift of life get to travel and live all around the world leading busy and happy lives, but never forget their deceased donors and other patients who are waiting for life saving organ transplants. 

The focus of all organ donor awareness campaigns lies in emphasising the importance of discussion around organ donation i.e., have the conversation #have the chat.  This year’s Organ Donor Awareness Week campaign (27th March – 3rd April) is built around the theme #Life is a Gift Pass it On. The Awareness Week’s online national launch will take place on Tuesday, 23rd March.

RTE news reporter, Vivienne Traynor, a kidney donor

The words Life is a Gift, Pass it On  relay the transient beauty of the ‘gift of life’ underpinned by the selfless generosity of human spirit. The importance of discussion with loved ones about organ donation and sharing your wishes is the cornerstone of campaign messages. This decision for families to donate a loved one’s organs is made easier when they know they are honouring their wishes i.e., their wish to ‘Pass it On’

Individuals who wish to support organ donation 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 licence and having the ‘digital organ donor card’ APP on their smartphone. Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association on 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. You can also visit the website or download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.