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“Organ donation works, I’m living proof”

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Third time lucky kidney recipient urges people to carry a donor card

A Milltown man who has undergone three kidney transplants is planning to give something back and also create awareness about the importance of organ donation.
Colm Clifford (42), and his supportive wife Nikki, who both work in Astellas in Killorglin which ironically produces medication for transplant patients, have set up a Monthly Renal Support Group to help patients and their families from diagnosis right through their journey.
The kind couple also plan to promote organ donation in schools and are asking them to hold a non-uniform day across Kerry in all primary and secondary schools.
Colm was born with only one functioning kidney, and as a child went into kidney failure. In December 1988, aged just 11, he had to go on dialysis four times a day. In March 1990, aged 13, he had his first transplant.
“I was born with two kidneys but only one was functioning,” Colm told the Killarney Advertiser.
“My first transplant, the kidney was taken out after two days as it didn’t function.”
In November 1990, he underwent his second transplant which was successful for 22 years.
However, Colm and Nikki’s world came crashing down in 2012 when the newly married couple learned that his kidney was failing again.
In the beginning he was put on dialysis four times a day at home and then later for an hour-and-a-half three times a week in hospital until his third transplant in early March 2017.
Now he says his health is very good but he and Nikki are keen to help others going through the same experience as them.
Nikki explained that it was a long and lonely road and at times felt was hard for others to understand fully.
“You don’t live a life – you’re existing,” Nikki, who is Organ Donor Awareness Coordinator with the Kerry branch of Irish Kidney Association, said.
“It’s quite lonely, it’s hard. I did struggle a bit with the emotional side and there was no support network in Kerry so we set one up in December.”
Also, she added that a new house has been recently purchased in Killarney, near the Killarney Oaks Hotel, by the Kerry branch of the Irish Kidney Association with help from Ring of Kerry funding.
“It’s all gutted out at the moment and money from the schools non-uniform day will go towards this, so the money will stay in Kerry.”
Colm added that the monthly Renal Support Group meeting takes place the second Thursday of every month at 7.30pm in The Kidney House, 11 Castlelawn Drive in Killerisk.
“Organ donation works, I’m living proof. Hopefully it won’t come to anyone’s door but I’d urge people to carry a card and more importantly speak to your next of kin about organ donation.”
For more information contact Colm on 0861999169.

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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