Lucan man in 212km cycle to raise awareness for organ donation

by Mark O'Brien
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Ken Mulkerrins with his two children Conor and Kate

A Lucan man completed a mammoth cycle last weekend to raise awareness for organ donation.

Ken Mulkerrins (39) cycled 212km from Lucan to Galway just two years after he had a heart transplant.

He told Dublin Gazette that he undertook the cycle to get people talking about organ donation.

He said: “What made me do it was to raise awareness about organ donation and to raise awareness around the fact that the current legislation surrounding organ donation means that it’s your next of kin that has the final say.

“So, no matter if you do carry an organ donation card, that’s a good thing and a great start but currently as it stands, it’s down to your next of kin.”

Ken said the thinking behind the cycle was to encourage people to have a conversation with their loved ones to let them know their wishes in relation to donating organs.

“It’s obviously a really hard time for the bereaved family to try and make decisions, so it makes it easier and more fluid if people have the chat in everyday life and it just makes it a whole lot easier and a lot more straightforward.”

Ken – a former Irish Kayaking Champion – left his home in Oldbridge Park at 8am on Saturday morning.

After an overnight stop in Ballinasloe, he resumed his journey on Saturday morning, finishing at the Circle of Life Garden in Salthill.

The garden honours organ donors and was created by Denis and Martina Goggin, whose son Eamonn passed away in 2006 when he was just 26-years-old.

“The cycle was good,” said Ken.

“The weather was kind of against us. Since we left Lucan we had a headwind straight on and rain both days but it wasn’t ideal in that sense.

“I had in my mind to reach the garden by 2pm on Saturday and we got their at 2.05pm.”

Having been the grateful recipient of a donor organ, Ken said he hopes the cycle will inspire others to become donors.

Organ Donor Cards can be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association 01 6205306 or Free text the word DONOR to 50050. Visit www.ika.ie.

You can also indicate your wishes to be an organ donor on your driver’s license which is represented by Code 115.

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