Organ awareness campaigner squashes competitors in Mayo
A unique sporting awareness campaign came to Westport last week, when transplant athlete Deirdre Faul visited the local squash club as part of her marathon round-Ireland tour.
Nine years after she had a full liver transplant following a short period of illness which resulted in fulminant liver failure, Deirdre set out to mark the occasion, honour her anonymous donor and promote awareness of organ donation, by doing a whistle -stop exhausting tour of Ireland’s squash courts. On the Mayo leg of her odyssey, Deirdre was ably guided around by fellow transplant recipient and World Transplant Games athlete, Westport-man Darren Cawley.
As part of her ‘Live Love Laugh Play Squash Tour of Ireland 2012,’ Deirdre was aiming to play a full match in 44 squash clubs in Ireland in ten days - a task which she completed in her native Dublin yesterday, (Monday).
In Mayo last Thursday, Deirdre comprehensively outplayed Shane Larkin in Westport, despite having played nine full matches the previous day, before moving onto clubs in Crossmolina, Ballina and Ballinrobe. She also gave some coaching lessons along the way.
The tour had the backing of Irish Squash, Leinster Squash, Munster Squash, Connaught Squash and Ulster Squash, and Deirdre was keen to thank each of them for their help and encouragement.
Thankful for the priceless gift of life she received almost a decade ago, Deirdre was hoping to encourage others to carry organ donor cards. Along her route she placed organ donor cards in each of the clubs she visited, while also speaking about organ donation and ‘how worthwhile it is to make that life saving decision’.
Deirdre was also successful in raising funds for Transplant Team Ireland, which will go towards competing at the World Transplant Games 2013, while she also raised money for the Irish Kidney Association. Each club she visited was asked to make a donation towards her appeal.