Monday, September 15, 2008

The aftermath

This picture was taken at the 12 mile mark and tells a story all of it's own. I think that it accurately reflects how I was feeling at that stage of the race....

Yesterday's race also doubled up as the Munster Inter-Club half marathon championship. Apparently I came 37th in the Senior Men category which according to the Masters results was 22nd in the Masters Category. Just goes to show the the majority of the runners at this distance are oldies (i.e. at least 35 years old)!!
Apart from being a bit tired my legs felt fine today so my 5.62mile recovery run at 7:59 pace (avg 141bpm) was no bother. The sun was even shining!!
Yesterday was also a special day for our family for a totally different, and much more serious, reason. Last night Pamela and I attended a dinner hosted by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) where over 100 people received awards for giving over 50 blood donations and 10 men and women got awards for giving over 100 donations. This is a truly amazing achievement given that you can only donate blood 3 or 4 times a year - truly a lifetime of giving.
Although I'm a donor we weren't at the dinner to receive any award but rather to represent recipients. Pamela and my daughter Una both received multiple transfusions following the birth of the girls and the IBTS felt that it would be good for donors to hear of our success story (both Pamela and Una are now perfectly fine but without receiving the necessary blood transfusions the story may well be very different). It is amazing to think that even in this day of genetic and medical advances the blood transfusion services are still dependent on individuals taking time and effort to donate their own blood to save the life of others.

We were sitting at a table with a Cancer survivor Bernice Glavin who was there to tell her story of survival. Coincidentally, Bernice also ran yesterdays half marathon - it's a small world. In fact Bernice set herself a goal of running 50 marathons by the age of 50. She'll be running her 54th marathon next month in Dublin and she's still 49!!! Well done Bernice.

We awoke this morning to our story being featured in the Irish Examiner newspaper as part of the national campaign for Blood Awareness Week. As I'm sure that the image is illegible I've extracted the text of the article below.
‘We survived because of blood donors’
By Evelyn Ring

Irish Examiner, Monday, September 15, 2008

When Pamela Brice looks into the eyes of her beautiful four-year-old daughter, she sees the generosity of blood donors reflected back. Neither she nor her daughter would have lived without the precious gift of blood they both received. “We are hugely grateful that we survived because of those people who gave blood,” said Pamela, from Douglas in Cork. Pamela, 37, gave birth to identical twins, Eva and Úna, by emergency Caesarean section on June 14, 2004, coincidentally the date of World Blood Donor Day. Both babies, who were born prematurely, were very ill after developing twin to twin transfusion syndrome, a condition that resulted in an imbalance in the blood from one twin to another. Eva, who was overloaded with blood, was in the early stages of heart failure while Úna, the smaller baby, was completely anaemic and required a transfusion as soon as she was born. Pamela received six blood transfusions following the births after doctors at the Erinville Maternity Hospital discovered that she had a rare blood clotting disorder. “I will never forget how cold I was in intensive care and how much better I felt after another transfusion,” she recalled. Pamela, who is expecting her third child, said plans had been made for the birth in Cork University Maternity Hospital and there was a possibility that she will need a further transfusion. Initially very pale, it was only after Úna received another blood transfusion that she blossomed into health, said her mother. “I often think of the people who gave blood and I have met some of them. They are truly humble because they do not expect any thanks for such a precious gift,” said Pamela, a part-time accountant .
During Blood for Life week, which began yesterday and runs until Sunday, the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is hoping stories like Pamela’s will encourage more people to become regular donors. The theme of this year’s Blood for Life Week is “be the type that makes a difference”. “You never know when you, a relative or a friend will be depending on the commitment of donors,” said IBTS chief executive Andrew Kelly. “We need existing donors to give blood regularly and we need new donors to replace those who are no longer able to give blood.”

This afternoon the local radio Red FM interviewed Pamela for their News bulletins. Overnight she's become quite a celebrity. I'd better watch out or the fame will go to her head!!!

Apparently only 5% of the population can donate. In Ireland only 3% donate so my message to all who 'can' would be to "Give blood, Save a life and make a REAL difference".

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