Transplant Team Ireland

Keep up-to-date with me on This Limbo - a blog about dialysis & other curiosities

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A series of strange coincidences

Life was flowing along nicely for me in the summer of 2001. Exams were over, my second year as a student at DCU was complete and I had secured my first real job as a reporter with the Irish Sun. I was 19 years old.

Tabloid journalism was not for me, but it was an education in itself. Not just about how to write for an attention-deficient society, but also about what the majority in that society wish to read. Sex and tragedy. That was all that mattered.

There were many sad incidents that summer. I remember attending the funeral of a mother killed in a boating accident and phoning the home of a toddler who had been killed in a farm accident to see if in their hour of grief his parents might want to make a comment to a journalist. They didn't. Thank God.

In the midst of all this there loomed another event that was deemed by my editor to be worthy of attention. A good editor knows as much about human behaviour as any psychologist and my then boss knew that out of great sadness there could come a story of heroics that would be devoured by his readers. People like to read some optimism in their newspaper occasionally, especially on a friday or a saturday.

The Transplant Games were being held in Japan that year and I was sent along to the ALSAA to meet some of the team, get quotes about how they were overcoming the great challenges in their lives and write what they call a feel-good story.

I have little memory of what I wrote about the team back then, though it is probably in a scrapbook somewhere at home. I do know I had never heard of the Transplant Games before that day and it seemed a rather novel idea - something however that didn't really concern me because I was healthy and they were sick.

In 11 days, I will return to DCU as part of Transplant Team Ireland.

Funny how things turn out.


  1. It would be interesting to see what you wrote. I sometimes wonder when being interviewed if the interviewer really really understands the complexities of going through the transplant process, how difficult it is, how much work & support it takes to get through it & what an achievement it is ...

  2. Deirdre - I must try and dig out the piece next time I'm at home. Truthfully though I think you can assume that most reporters don't understand much about what you have been through. They're just trying to get the gist of it and a few soundbites/quotes. Most of them don't understand NAMA either so don't take it personally!

  3. I was at them games in Kobe 2001...... Maybe you chatted to me. Maybe not I'D HAVE REMEMBERED...! Ok no I wouldn't ;)
    The 10 points are Good ;)