MORE than €13,000 was raised for the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) at the recent Gift of Life Ball that was attended by 270 people including many transplant recipients.
The ball was the brainchild of Sally Nagle, a 26-year-old native of Montenotte, to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation and to raise much-needed funds for the IKA who are celebrating their 40th anniversary this year.
Sally said that, most importantly, the event also honours her donor and their family for the ‘Gift of Life’ they gave her as she celebrates the 10th anniversary of her kidney transplantation.
Sally was diagnosed with a very rare condition in childhood (the only child to have the condition in Ireland and the UK), a symptom of which would be kidney failure in her teenage years.
From the age of 14 Sally was on twelve-hour daily dialysis for two years before that life-saving and life-changing call came to her 10 years ago.
The ball took place in the Clayton Hotel and the night was full of glamour and glitz.
Among the speakers at the ball was Pat O’Sullivan, Chairman of the Cork branch of the Irish Kidney Association, who announced that the funds raised that evening would go towards furnishing a recently procured house in the vicinity of the Cork University Hospital that can be used by family members of transplantation patients attending the hospital.
This was followed by a moving address by Professor Liam Plant of the CUH, who described the courage and generosity of the donors and their families and the courage and perseverance of the patients and their families and their roller coaster journey pre and post transplantation.
The at times very humorous and moving presentation by Isabel Terry who had double-lung and heart transplantation a year ago gave a real sense of the ups and downs of her own transplantation journey, with six aborted calls for transplantation over a period of years and the excitement and disappointment this brought her.
Sally in her own presentation reminded people to start having the conversation with their family about their wishes in relation to organ donation and the need for everyone to carry an organ donor card.