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Ray D’Arcy becomes Ambassador for the National Organ Donor Awareness Campaign 2019

The Irish Kidney Association have announced that Ray D’Arcy has agreed to the voluntary role of ambassador for organ donor awareness 2019 taking up the baton from Claire Byrne who fronted last year’s campaign. Ray, the popular RTÉ TV and radio broadcaster was also the ambassador for the campaign two decades ago. Since then he has continued to champion the life-saving cause on national airwaves. He will front the 2019 Organ Donor Awareness Week campaign which will take place from  March 30th until April 6th encouraging the public to support organ donation for transplantation by letting their loved ones know their wishes. #Have the Chat

Ray will feature in radio advertising and posters as well as attending the national launch of 2019 Organ Donor Awareness at the Mansion House Dublin on Tuesday, March 26th.

Ray said, “It’s such an honour to be asked to be ambassador for this year’s campaign. Organ donation is something that I feel very strongly about. Listening to people’s stories down through the years about organ transplantation, dialysis and organ donation, sometimes heart-warming and at other times heart-wrenching, I honestly believe that there is no better gift in life than the gift of organ donation”.

“I have heard from grieving families about the solace they have got from donating the organs of someone they have loved knowing that other individuals and families have benefited.  The news of a person receiving a transplant affects the families involved and it ripples through communities around Ireland.”

“I have also heard how people’s lives have been transformed through organ transplantation and I commend the donors who have made this possible. There are approximately 550 people in Ireland awaiting an organ transplant and hopefully these people’s lives will be saved through organ transplantation.  I would encourage everyone to discuss organ donation with their family members as I have done with mine. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but it is such a vital and potentially life-saving one. The legacy of organ donation by selfless deceased donor families is profound.”

Chief Executive of the Irish Kidney Association, Mr. Mark Murphy said, “It’s wonderful to have Ray D’Arcy, who enjoys household name recognition, lending his support once again to the Irish Kidney Association twenty-one years after first fronting the annual campaign. Ray has always demonstrated great empathy for people touched by organ failure. To have such a popular figure representing the Irish Kidney Association (IKA), a charity organisation of patients and carers, carries with it huge impetus to the work we have undertaken advocating and caring for our patients”.

The IKA is the organisation charged with the promotion and distribution of the organ donor card in Ireland through Organ Donation and Transplant Ireland (ODTI), the organ procurement service of the HSE.

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 4,000 transplanted people in Ireland are enjoying extended life.

The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is to remind individuals to talk to their families about their organ donation wishes and keep the reminders of their decision visible by carrying the organ donor card and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license or downloading the ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to their smartphone.

Organ Donor Awareness Week also serves as a fundraising exercise for the Irish Kidney Association. Throughout the Week (March 30th– April 6th2019), the Association’s volunteers will be out on the streets, and in shopping centres throughout the country, distributing organ donor cards while selling ‘forget-me-not-flower’ emblems, brooches, pens and shopping trolley discs. All proceeds go towards the Irish Kidney Association’s aid for patients on dialysis and those patients fortunate enough to have received a kidney transplant. The Irish Kidney Association’s charitable activities include the provision of a 13-double bedroom, free accommodation facility for patients and their families in the grounds of Beaumont Hospital and plans for the development of a similar facility at Cork University Hospital are underway. Patients, many who would otherwise be unable to travel and take family holidays due to the constraints of dialysis treatment, can avail of IKA holiday centres located in Tramore, Killarney and Tralee.  The Irish Kidney Association also provides patient advocacy, advice, counselling, financial aid and rehabilitative, health promotion through sport and the provision of kidney patient information and education through its head office in Dublin and its 25-branch network of volunteers nationwide.

Information fact files, which accompany the free organ donor cards, are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and post offices.

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association tel. 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website www.ika.ie/card   You can now download a free ‘digital organ donor card’ APP to your phone.

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