Medical News

Transplant children put ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’ through their paces

By May 4, 2018 No Comments

Jonathan, Dearbháile, Keith and their father Michael Beirne, of ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’ acclaim,  joined kidney transplant recipient Darragh O’ Haire (9), from Johnstown Bridge, Enfield, and liver transplant recipient girls Tara Madigan (11) from Castleconnell, Limerick and Éabha Devitt (7) from Dunboyne, Co Meath and their families to promote the Irish Kidney Association’s ‘Run for a Life’ family fun run which will take place at Corkagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 at 12pm on Saturday 19th May.

 The ‘Run for a Life’ family fun run is open to people of all ages and levels of fitness who can choose to walk, jog or run in the chip timed event, which offers prizes for winners in a choice of 2.5km, 5km and 10km distances.

For the fit family from Mohill, Co. Leitrim, this run represents a cause close to their hearts, as a family friend and relative, Detta Holahan (58), a mother and grandmother, who lives just miles away from their family home, has been undergoing eight-hour nightly dialysis treatment for almost three years.

Pictured from left: Ireland’s Fittest Family, Keith, Jonathan and Dearbháile Beirne andtheir father Michael with Éabha Devitt, age 7, (front right), a liver transplant recipient from Dunboyne, Co Meath, and her sister Muireann, age 9.  Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Jonathan Beirne, a primary school teacher at Bawnmore N.S. in Claregalway explained, “My family were delighted to be asked to support Run for a Life. When we were younger, our mother, who is a public schools’ nurse in Leitrim, gave each of us organ donor cards. She has always tried to instil in us the importance of consideration towards others.

“As a teacher, I try to live by this advice and I also try to teach my pupils to be socially aware and about the importance of consideration and trying to help others in need. We have been aware of Detta’s kidney disease for some time now and we hope that she will benefit from a transplant soon. Organ Donation is a huge act of kindness and it’s a wonderful legacy that after untimely death other people’s lives can be saved and improved”.

Colin White, Race Manager and National Projects Manager of the Irish Kidney Association said, “The Beirne family are a shining example to all of us on the benefits that can be achieved in keeping fit and active just like members of Transplant Team Ireland who will take part in Run for a Life and in the European Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships in Sardinia this summer demonstrating what can be achieved by transplant recipients and dialysis patients.

“Tara, Darragh and Éabha are also demonstrating that following their transplants they are leading happy and active childhoods and are enjoying taking part in sport. We are looking forward to another successful annual Run for a Life on May 19th which offers a great day out for all the family and with over 550 participants from throughout Ireland who registered for last year’s event we are optimistic for another great turnout”.

There are approximately 550 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Thanks to the gift of organ donation almost 3500 transplanted people in Ireland are enjoying extended life.

For more information on the event visit website


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