RTE TV and radio presenter, Joe Duffy, has pledged his support to this year’s Organ Donor Awareness Week campaign. The life saving awareness campaign which is organised by the Irish Kidney Association and supported by the Irish Donor Network will take place from April 2 to 9 next.
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.
Poignantly, 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 16,000 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, “Many of us have known someone who has experienced organ failure. In many cases their only chance of survival is a life saving transplant. It is thanks to the generosity of deceased donors and their families consent to donate their loved ones organs that almost 2400 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life as a result of receiving organ transplants. The legacy of organ donation for transplantation is immeasurable. I would encourage everyone to carry an organ donor card.”
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 (April 2 to 9), 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 organ donor keyrings and packs of forget-me-not flower seeds.
Information factfiles which accompany organ donor cards can be obtained (free of charge) 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