The Chairman of the Westmeath Branch of the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) has become the National Treasurer, in what is a significant honour.
Killucan man Eddie Flood, who received a kidney transplant in 2011, took over as Treasurer of the IKA at the end of June and is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
“I received great support from all the branches around the country and I’m extremely grateful for that and I’m honoured to take on what is a challenging role,” he said.
“We have been a charity organisation for the past 41 years and we aim to build for a long future as we provide a very important service for transplant patients and their families,” he added.
Eddie has eased into the role and travels regularly to Dublin for meetings. At present the IKA are undertaking a major review through all the branches in the country to help them develop a clear pathway going forward and to look at their strengths and weaknesses.
“It’s the first time we have undertaken such a review and it will give us a clear picture of what we are doing right and what mistakes we might be making. We’re encouraging all members to participate in the survey,” he said.
“The public have been very generous to us over the years and we’re grateful for the financial support. We have to be prudent with our resources as well as ensuring that funds are allocated where needed,” he added.
Eddie, who will be National Treasurer for the next two years, is remaining on as Chairperson of the Westmeath Branch of the IKA and is still their board representative at national level, so it will be a busy time for him.
They are also keen to ensure that there is an increase in the number of transplants carried out annually and the liver donor programme, which has been a great success, needs to be expanded.
The Human Tissue Bill which is going to be enacted is also significant. What Eddie and the IKA wish to see is a donor register where everybody is included.
“It’s very important that everyone has a conversation with their next of kin so as they know what your wishes are. It makes the decision about transplantation much easier,” he said.
One of the projects ongoing is the development of a renal support centre in Cork, adjacent to the Cork University Hospital, which will be of major benefit to patients and their families in the Munster area. There is considerable travelling involved for dialysis and Eddie is hopeful this new development will take considerable pressure off people, some of whom have to travel considerable journeys.
“It will allow people stay over night and that can be a huge benefit,” he explained. The new Treasurer is also involved in a project aimed at securing a similar facility in the west of Ireland.
The late Larry Dunican
The Westmeath IKA Branch want to extent their sympathies to the wife and family of the late Larry Dunican, who passed away last week. Larry was a valued member of the Westmeath IKA Branch and he is survived by his wife, Eileen, who acted as treasurer for many years. Sympathy is extended to her and to their children, Peter, Kieran, Laura and Orlaith, and the extended family.