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Anna leads Polish Irish Organ Donation Week campaign

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NATIONAL CAMPAIGN: Killarney resident and Polish national Anna Pokojska is one of the faces of a new Polish/Irish campaign for Organ Donation Awareness Week. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

A Killarney resident who has had a new lease of life after getting the gift of a kidney is the face of the first ever Polish campaign for Organ Donation Awareness Week. Anna Pokojska is the only Polish person taking part in the national campaign to reach out to the large Polish community across Ireland.

She had her life transformed in 2017 after undergoing a kidney transplant. And now, as a way of giving something back, she decided to take part in the Polish/Irish campaign which takes place from tomorrow (March 27) to Saturday April 3.

Normally Anna helps the organisation by taking part in the annual street collection. However, as that is not able to go ahead this year the charity is instead opting for a digital campaign to get the message of the gift of life for others through organ donation with a poster campaign with Anna included as one of the faces in the Polish and Irish poster.

“I was diagnosed in 2013 aged 31 and it was a shock at first,” Anna told the Killarney Advertiser yesterday (Thursday). “They told me I wouldn’t need a transplant for years but I needed it sooner than that. It was progressive and I was on dialysis. I was very lucky that I didn’t have to wait too long. I’ve a new lease of life since.”

In 2019 Anna, who is married to Leszek and has a 16-year-old daughter named Daria, attended the World Transplant Games for the first time and competed in the 30-39 years categories in both the 30k Cycling Road Race and the 5k Mini-Marathon.

With such a change in lifestyle since, Anna is now appealing for people to let loved ones know their plans of donation when they pass on.

“It’s really important to talk with loved ones about it. I was very lucky to get the gift of life and the chance to be more active for myself and for my family as I wasn’t able to do many things. It’s a good thing to have a donor card to help other people.”

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Go on…put the kettle on to help a good cause!

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TEA TIME: Nora Murphy, Mary Lehane and Betty Carmody, drinking a cuppa as they raise awareness about this year’s Virtual Tea for Motor Neurone Disease which takes place on June 21.

By Michelle Crean

June 21 is Global Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Awareness Day and one local group is calling for participants to get involved.

Christy Lehane, Chairman of Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone and Ambassador for the IMNDA, will take part in the Virtual Tea for MND fundraiser and awareness event.

“We never thought this time last year that 12 months later we would be doing Virtual Tea for MND,” Christy told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In these COVID times our fundraising efforts have all ceased, but sadly there is no slowing down of Motor Neurone Disease. Providing the support and services to our Motor Neurone sufferers is now more important than ever before. I am now appealing to all you good people and friends who have supported us in the past to please hear my plea. I myself will drink Virtual Tea for MND again this year. So go on, put on the kettle and take out the china tea pot and get family and friends around to the garden for a brew and a catchup for a great cause. If you do not feel comfortable with having people around, you can go very modern and go Zooming and encourage your friends to do so also. I am aware that some of our MND sufferers are themselves organising Virtual Tea Drinking get togethers.”

Participating SuperValu stores are on board again this year providing tea bags etc. to raise awareness of MND, and staff will be asking shoppers for donations for the IMNDA starting on June 7 to 21.

“I seldom seek donations and financial support, but perhaps in these COVID times when our need is greatest you might be moved to help us.”

Every year MND Associations across the globe mark June 21 as a special day of recognition where the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations across the world undertake a range of activities to raise awareness and keep focused on the search for the cause, treatment and eventual cure for this terrible disease.

You can donate to www.imnda.ie or if you can contact Christy Lehane Chairman of Kerry Friends of Motor Neurone and Ambassador for the IMNDA on 087 9671011.

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Laura’s new look for Leaving Cert

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NEW LOOK: Laura Cronin, who is currently sitting her Leaving Cert, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

By Michelle Crean

Rathmore’s Laura Cronin headed into her Leaving Cert exams this week with a whole new look after transforming her hairstyle for charity.

Laura, daughter of Una and Donal from Rathbeg, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

As her long locks didn’t get cut over the last year Laura decided to get a good chop in Katelynn’s Hair Design in Rathmore instead, and use the left over hair to create wigs for sick children.

“I thought, rather than trim it I’d cut a lot off,” Laura, who hopes to study pharmacy in college, told the Killarney Advertiser. “I wanted to cut off a lot of it, I was sick of long hair. I said that if there’d be enough I’d donate it as it’d be a shame to see it on the floor.”

Laura said that hopefully it can make a child happy if it allows them to receive a specially made wig for their First Holy Communion, or a similar occasion.

“I’d encourage anyone who has long hair to think about what they could do with it.”

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€1m upgrade for Killarney store

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INVESTMENT: DV8 have invested €1m to update their store in the Killarney Outlet Centre. Pictured at the reopening were staff members: Clodagh McCarthy (Store Manager), Lorraine McGough (Assistant Manager), Anuka Altanson and Sarah Murphy. Photo: Don MacMonagle

A popular Killarney fashion shop, which reopened last week, securing up to 15 jobs, has had a facelift after a €1 million investment.

Leading fashion retailer DV8, which has a network of over 50 stores across Ireland, reopened its 4,000 square feet store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.

And customers admired the new look.

DV8 sells over 40 top fashion clothing brands as well as footwear and accessories in its stores and online at www.dv8fashion.com. The hip fashion house is well-known for its uber cool shop interiors and has dedicated customers across Ireland and the UK.

“We are delighted to be reopening our new store in Killarney and confident it will compliment the existing retail offering in the town, with DV8’s unique range of male and female clothing and footwear,” David Scott from DV8 said.

“We think local shoppers will enjoy the DV8 experience, including the top fashion brands and excellent customer service.”

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