Nenagh native, Orla Hogan Ryan secured a Bronze medal today in the 50m Freestyle Swimming Event at the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Championships in Cagliari. This month is a significant one for Orla, as it marks ten years since she received her life changing Kidney transplant which was donated by a living donor, her brother Cathal. Orla has received four kidney transplants, the first of which was donated to her from her mother in 1991.
Orla has been a central member of Transplant Team Ireland since her first Sports Championship in Slovenia in 2004. Since that Event Orla has competed at 10 Championships with Team Ireland including both European and World Events. Orla has been thoroughly enjoying the 10th European Transplant & Dialysis Championships in Cagliari this week, she said, “I am having great fun here as always. The Games is a great way for me to represent my donor and showcase that organ donation works.”
Fellow Team Ireland member and Donegal native, Kieran Murray spoke about Orla’s positive attitude, “Orla is a warm, positive and inspirational person. She always has a smile on her face no matter what the situation. She demonstrates, I believe, what the transplant Games are all about. She motivates and supports the rest of the team and is always there to provide a laugh or joke when people need it. I wish her many more years of good health following her ten year transplant anniversary.”
On the 10th of June 2008 Orla underwent her kidney transplant, and is extremely grateful to her brother Cathal for this, “he is really fabulous, he was only 23 when he made the decision to donate to me. He was very insistent that he wanted to do it. It’s hard to verbalise how grateful I am to him.”
Orla competed in the 5km mini marathon yesterday and was thrilled that despite the hot weather she reduced her time, achieving a personal best. Following her success in the pool today, she wanted to give a big thank you to Nenagh Masters Swimming Club and Crossfit Nenagh for helping her to prepare for this year’s championships. Orla will also compete in the Bowling and 3km Power Walk Events in the latter half of this week.
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