A young Baldoyle boy who is waiting for a kidney transplant took time out the day before his fifth birthday to call for support for a family fun run.
Sam Kinahan and his eight-year-old sister, Ali, were joined by their parents Chloe and Ivan at a photocall to encourage the public to take part in the annual ‘Run for a Life’ event organised by the Irish Kidney Association (IKA).
Sam has been receiving dialysis treatment at Temple Street Children’s Hospital since he was just four and a half months old.
His mum Chloe said: “That’s almost as long as he has been alive. Sam is a patient at Temple Street Hospital and has soldiered through his illness as a happy little boy who seldom complains.
“One of the issues that comes with his condition is that he has never eaten properly because of his restrictive diet, and he has primarily been tube fed.
“While he will enjoy the ceremonial blowing out of the candles on his fifth birthday cake, he will not be able to eat it.
“His interests are typical of any young boy of his age and he loves watching Transformers and playing with the power hero robots in disguise.
“While he is on the deceased donor kidney transplant waiting list, we anxiously await news that his father, Ivan, can be his living kidney donor as soon as possible.
“A donor kidney will be the catalyst for transforming Sam’s life and a new kidney will be his transformer!
“Sam has attended the annual Run for a Life every year since his first as a baby being pushed along in his buggy by his father.
“We look forward to attending the event again this year, and hopefully by then we will have received welcome news that Ivan can be Sam’s donor.”
Sam is among 550 people in Ireland on waiting lists for organ transplants, including heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas, and is one of more than 2,100 people with end-stage kidney failure who need dialysis to keep them alive.
This is the eleventh year of the annual Run for a Life event which last year saw more than 500 participants raise vital funds for the IKA as well as donor awareness.
It is open to people of all ages and levels of fitness who can choose to walk, jog or run in the chip-timed event, which offers prizes for winners in a choice of 2.5km, 5km and 10km distances.
Entry fee is €20 per adult, €10 per child and €45 for a family of up to two adults and four children.
The IKA run will take place at Corkagh Park in Clondalkin on Saturday, May 25 at 2pm. For further information, see www.runforalife.ie.