Transplant patient inspires Taoiseach to be an organ donor
A DOUBLE transplant recipient has provided the inspiration for the Taoiseach to become an organ donor.
Darren Cawley, from Aughagower, Co Mayo, has had two kidney transplants and is now healthy.
Twelve years ago, Mr Cawley (32) was diagnosed with renal failure. He had his first kidney transplant in 2000, but after just two years had it removed after a serious virus.
For the next nine years, he had to undergo dialysis every second day, restricting his life.
Always keen on sports, he won three medals at the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Dublin last year. Last January. he proposed to girlfriend Aoife Mitchell and was on his way to buy the ring when his second transplant opportunity arose.
"It was a bit surreal. I was in Longford on my way to Dublin to meet Aoife to go ring shopping when I took the call," he said.
The transplant was a success -- and so was the shopping trip. "When I was in hospital in Dublin, Aoife chose her ring and it's now on her finger," he said.
Mr Cawley is now an activist for the Irish Kidney Association.
In Castlebar at the weekend, he issued a challenge to the Taoiseach to carry a donor card and Mr Kenny readily accepted.
Mr Cawley is also a member of the Westport Lions Club and attended the launch by Mr Kenny of the Lions Club's 'Pride of the Lions' magazine in Castlebar, Co Mayo.
Anyone wishing to carry a donor card can text the word DONOR to 50050.