Emma to honour donor in mini marathon

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Emma O'Sullivan who has a special reason for running the Cook Medical mini-marathon on September 29. Photo: Conor McCabe

FROM kidney failure to running a mini-marathon – that’s the journey being undertaken by a determined Limerick transplant recipient.

And 41-year-old Emma O’Sullivan will complete another stage of that remarkable journey when she lines up for the Cook Medical Women’s Mini Marathon at the University of Limerick on Sunday, September 29. Despite suffering from kidney failure all her life, it will be Emma’s third time taking part in the mini-marathon and this year, she will complete the course in honour of the kidney donor whose generosity, and that of their family, saved her life.

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The Kilkenny native who has been living in Glin for the past four years, said: “That family had just lost a loved one and were kind enough to donate their organs to help people like me. They saved my life.”

Emma was born with a reflux that damaged her kidneys. She underwent a number of unsuccessful operations between the ages of one and three and was eventually put on the waiting list for a kidney transplant.

She underwent a successful kidney transplant when she was nine but only a year later, her own remaining kidney became infected and had to be removed.

For eleven years, she continued to lead a normal life with only one kidney. However when this kidney failed it had to be removed, leaving Emma on dialysis for 18 months, waiting for a potential organ donation.

And then came the phone call telling her that a potential match had been found. Since the successful completion of that life-changing transplant, Emma has been able to get back to living a full and healthy life with her husband and child.

In fact, she has even participated in international competition in both the European and the World Transplant Games, which are currently underway in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Emma and three of her friends will be competing in the Cook Medical mini-marathon and have taken part in a number of five-kilometre runs to prepare for the big event.

3,000 women of all ages and abilities will walk, jog and run the 5km and 10km courses with participants raising funds for local charities from all across Ireland.

2019 marks the fourth consecutive year of Cook Medical’s title sponsorship with further sponsorship confirmed until 2021.