Margaret McCann is a heart recipient. She joined the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association in 2009 where she worked for over two years in a voluntary capacity as Secretary.
She is a widow with two sons; In 1985 she lost her 16 year old daughter Linda from hypertropic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition she would later go on to develop along with her son who has since been diagnosed with the condition. Two years later her youngest daughter Debbie (12 yrs) lost her fight for life after a long battle with Leukemia.
Her work and her 2 sons helped her to cope with life until her own health began to deteriorate. After 19 years working as shop manager for various E.S.B shops throughout Dublin she took early retirement. She eventually went on the transplant list in the Mater Hospital in 2003 and it was three years later when a suitable heart became available.
She is very grateful to her donor and family for the wonderful gift she received and to the staff and team at the Mater Hospital for the care that is given to all recipients.
She is looking forward to re-uniting with her brother in Canada and her two sisters’ one from New York and the other in South Africa. She lives for her lads and her little dog Ben and she has a renewed love for life (and …ahem….expensive cars !!!)
Margaret set up Living Gift transplant support group with Denise Commins (lung recipient of nine years) who sadly passed away in February. She continues on with Sandra and Helena as they each want to give something back now that they have their second chance to live.
Sandra is a heart recipient. She lives in Kildare with her husband George and their three daughters. She is an accomplished artist and teaches art from her art studio in Mooretown Co Kildare. She has held several art exhibitions including many fundraisers for charitable events
She is a keen athlete and competitor and won a gold medal for tennis (after playing for five hours) in the Irish transplant games in Dublin in 2003.
In July 2010 she competed in the European Heart and Lung Transplant games representing Ireland in Vaxja Sweden. She returned home with 2 silver medals and a bronze medal for swimming. She celebrated her achievement with her Dad, her two bothers, sister in law and family and friends. The champagne corks were popping that night.
She continues to train to keep fit and is always on the go and rarely gets time to put her feet up.
Sandra is very grateful to her donor family and has sent them a photo of her medals through the transplant coordinators. She also sends the family cards on the anniversary of her transplant and at Christmas. We are very pleased to have Sandra as part of the team of Ladies who Lunch she is a great asset to us.
Helena and her husband Peter live in Dublin.
She is a heart recipient who has been very ill since she was a teenager.
Along with Peter she likes to go away on holiday with their parents and extended family and she says they are making up for all the time she was too ill to travel.
During the summer they both enjoy going out on Peters vintage 1986 Honda Goldwing road bike pictured left. She is forever grateful to her donor family for giving her another chance to spend time with her family.
Helena joined Living Gift group to give something back and to help others who have gone through a transplant. She is very committed and has been of great assistance to us as a group.
Words of Condolence for our friend and co-founder Denise Commins
As a lung recipient of 9 years Denise volunteered her time to the Irish Heart and Lung Transplant Association and later went on to co-found the Living Gift Transplant Support Group with Margaret McCann. She touched so many people’s lives through her work as a nurse taking care of people with special needs.
One of Denise’s greatest passion’s in life was for art. She loved to paint and make beautiful hand made cards and hand made candles.
She was looking forward so much to coming to our Ladies Who Lunch Day but sadly in Feb 2011 Denise lost her fight for life. She is sadly missed by her son Shane and her parents and family and her many friends.
We will miss you Denise but we will always remember you especially when we see a sun flower.