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Arlene Harris talks to Darren Cawley, one of hundreds waiting to receive a new lease of life

Kate O’Reilly WHAT’S ON DEPRESSION AWARENESS: Next Monday, January 18 sees the start of Depression Awareness Week. To mark Aware’s 25th year, a number of personalities have come on board to encourage people to get help. Contact Aware: loCall Helpline on 1890 303 302 or email for a free information pack. New online supports, including chat rooms on Events in the south include: Monday 18: Tralee — Open information session, 1pm- 3pm at Aware office, Collis Sandes House, Oakpark, Tralee. Tuesday 19: Mallow — Open information session, 10am-1pm at Mallow library; Tralee — Aware lecture, opening up about depression, at 8pm in The Grand Hotel. Thursday 21: Waterville, Co Kerry — open information session, 11.30am-2pm, Tech Amergin. ACUPUNCTURE SEMINARS: The inaugural Acupuncture Awareness Week takes place from January 18 to 23. The public are invited to attend free information evenings at: Cork — Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, UCC, Wednesday January 20 at 6.15pm. Limerick — Strand Hotel, Ennis Road, January 20 at 4.30pm; Waterford — Tower Hotel, Tuesday January 19 at 7pm. Dublin — D4 Berkeley Hotel, Ballsbridge, Thursday January 21 at 5.30pm. Galway — G Hotel — Saturday January 23 at 12pm. Visit: (See page 4) THERAPIES DAY: Free holistic information event in Vienna Woods Hotel, Glanmire, Co Cork from 2 to 5.30pm on Saturday January 23. Entry is by pass available from Cornelia Fitzgerald 087 2138446 E-mail:; and Joan Buckley 087 6749221 E-mail: HEART CLINIC: The Irish Heart Foundation will hold a free blood pressure and cholesterol testing clinic at the Family Resource Centre, Farranree, Cork from 2.30 to 4pm on Wednesday next January 20. Contact 021-4505822. STUDY SKILLS: To celebrate World Hypnotism Day Cork hypnotists Martin Kiely and Paul Giltinan are offering a free hypnotherapy seminar on ‘Learning Enhancement and Study Skills’ tonight at Brú Columbanus, Cardinal Way, Wilton, Cork from 7.30 to 10.30pm. Contact 021-4870870. Info to:

SPA COMPETITION Our apologies. Due to a production error the Brehon Health Squad Weekend competition did not appear in last week’s Feelgood. Instead, it ran in the main paper on Tuesday — winners are announced today.

Operation donor W

HILE you are reading this, there are approximately 600 people in Ireland waiting anxiously for an organ transplant. Whether through accident or illness, their lives can be on hold for years as they await news of an available organ. Giving an insight into the daily life of a hopeful recipient, a new three-part series on TV3 hopes to open our eyes to the daily struggle suffered by patients on organ waiting lists. The Gift of Life follows the stories of 12 transplant patients and the families of some of their donors in a moving programme highlighting how important organ donation can be. When Darren Cawley (featured in the series) was 20, he was in college, planning to travel the world before embarking on a career in sports and physical science. But when he visited his optician complaining of blurred vision, he was referred to hospital immediately. It was there, doctors discovered he had a rare kidney disease. Now 31, the Westport man is on dialysis three times a week, he is unable to work and the nature of his treatment means he has to stay close to home. “I had a kidney transplant almost 11 years ago, but it wasn’t successful and it stopped working after two years,” he says. “Time has stood still ever since.” Darren has been on a transplant waiting list for four years and despite the fact that family members have offered to donate an

PATIENT MAN: Darren Cawley — “something has to happen soon”.

organ, he is holding out for a lucky break. “I don’t really want to put them through an operation for me,” he admits. “I have been waiting for so long, something has to happen soon.” But the hopeful patient is just one of hundreds waiting to receive a new lease of life through the unfortunate demise of a stranger. Professor Oscar Traynor is a consultant surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital and director of the national liver transplant programme. He says people should think about organ donation and make their feelings known before its too late. “If more people were to carry organ

donor cards then waiting lists would invariable get shorter” he says. “And if applying for a card is too time consuming, there is a section on the back of every driver’s license which allows them to state their wishes on the matter — although people should make it clear that they have discussed the matter with their next of kin,” he advises. “The difference an organ transplant can make to a recipient is like the difference between night and day — most people who are waiting for a donor have a terrible quality of life — a successful operation would transform their lives.” ■ The Gift of Life starts on Thursday January 21 at 10pm on TV3.

HEALTH NOTES ALMOST one in four women who stop taking the contraceptive pill do so because they feel it doesn’t agree with them, according to new research. One in five women blamed the pill for mood swings, while similar numbers said it caused weight gain. Side-effects of depression and migraine were cited by 12% and 10% of women respectively. The research was commissioned by Bayer Schering Pharma ahead of the launch of new contraceptive pill Qlaira, which delivers different levels of oestrogen and progestogen throughout the month, with one pill taken daily for 28 days. “It provides a more natural form of the hormone oestrogen, which is ideal for women who are conscious about what they put in their bodies,” says Dr Eithne Brenner of the Brenner Clinic.

10 migraine-sufferers are hugely sensitive to light, a condition known as photophobia.

TOP Irish athlete Derval O’Rourke is set to undergo a smile makeover this year with her treatment expected to be complete by November. The Irish record-holder at 100m, 60m and 50m hurdles will wear invisible braces and undergo crown-replacement and teeth-whitening at the Seapoint Dental Clinic in Blackrock, Dublin. “With the World Indoor championships and European outdoors this year, I hope I’ll have plenty to smile about,” says the athlete.

PEOPLE who gain more than 9kg/20lb compared to their weight as an 18-year-old will rapidly increase their risk of health problems due to that extra weight, warn the Nutrition & Health Foundation, which conducted a survey that found more than three in four participants had gained 10kg/22lbs since they were 18. Pointing out that fad diets don’t work long-term (lose weight rapidly and you’ll almost certainly suffer a rebound effect), the foundation’s advice for people making weight-related new year resolutions is to ensure goals are small, manageable and achievable in less than a year. Helen O’Callaghan

WHY migraine-sufferers shun the light has always mystified doctors. Now, new US research has found the answer — light intensi-

ONE in five people in Ireland and Britain did not take all the holidays due to them in 2009, according to research conducted by accommodation website Of those with annual leave left to take, more than one in three surveyed in the final month of 2009 had yet to use up their remaining days holidays while as many as one in six still had five working days to book — for the majority of the workforce this equates to a significant proportion (18%) of their total holiday allowance. The survey also found that one in six had taken fewer holidays in 2009 than they had the year before — a sign that the recession is forcing us to forego holidays.

TOUGH MEDICINE: The pill “doesn’t agree with almost one in four women”. Picture: iStock fies migraine headaches because of a particular group of retina cells at the back of the eye, say researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, who explain that photoreceptors send signals to the brain via the optic nerve, which stimulate migraine pain neurons. More than eight in EDITORIAL: Irene Feighan 021-4802292 ADVERTISING: Niamh Kelly 021-4802215



Feelgood 15-01-2010  

Feelgood is a health and wellbeing supplement published by the Irish Examiner every Friday.

Feelgood 15-01-2010  

Feelgood is a health and wellbeing supplement published by the Irish Examiner every Friday.