Students' campaign could impact policy

Limerick Leader

Limerick West Edition

Saturday 11 May 2013 

Gerard Fitzgibbon

A campaign for mass cardiac screening of young people, which is being led by a group of students from Newcastle West, could be incorporated into Government health policy in the near future, a local TD believes.

Fine Gael TD Patrick O'Donovan said that elements of a campaign by transition year students at Desmond College, Newcastle West for greater screening for sudden adult death syndrome could be feasibly rolled out with minimal cost.

Last month, students from the Gortboy school travelled to Leinster House to meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Chairman of the Oireachtas Health Committee, Jerry Buttimer TD.

Over the past number of months the students have been raising awareness through online initiatives and local screening drives.  The issue at the centre of their cause has clear resonance with Desmond College - the sister of current transition year student Kieran Herlihy, Niamh, died suddenly at the age of 20 in 2011, while later that year 15-year old Desmond College student Darra O'Donovan also died suddenly.

Mr. O'Donovan said that data from heel prick tests, which could help identify if a child is in an 'at risk' health category, is one element of the campaign which could gain traction in Government policy.

"There's information available through the heel prick test.  I've spoken to the Minister for Health about that side of it.  Obviously there's resarch that needs to be done to see if that can be used for identifying (sudden adult death syndrome), but it's positive".

The students travelled to Dublin last month as part of the ongoing Young Social Innovators project, and received another significant boost a week later when they received a letter from the Taoiseach congratulating them on their efforts to date.

As well as a Facebook group which has attracted the support of over 25,000 people the students held a two day screening event at the school in February which saw students and staff receive screening tests for conditions which have been lihnked to sudden adult death.

Mr. O'Donovan said that the school's personal connection to the campaign is "very difficult" for them, and praised their efforts in keeping the need for screening on the agenda.

"What I would be hoping to do is get the health committee to take it on as an issue", he said.


Limerick Run

Limerick Leader

Saturday 18 May 2013

Athea;  Well done to the big number of Athea participants who recently travelled for the big Limerick Run. They did well and finished in good times as well as raising money for CRY The Adult Sudden Death Syndrome.

The Athea walking and jogging group are now well organised since they got together and continue each Tuesday and Thursday evening with their exercises from 7.30 to 8.15pm for beginners and 8.15 to 9pm for faster participants.



Limerick Leader West Edition – Leader 2
Saturday 6 April 2013

CRY: Preparations for the charity 10k walk/run and the 40k and 80k cycles are now well advanced. All proceeds will go to CRY which helps with Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. All the events start from Monagea Parish Hall on May 4. Registration for all events will take place in Monagea Hall on Sunday April 14 from 10.30am to 12.30pm. It is €5 to register for the walk/run and €20 for the cycle. If you have filled a sponsorship card or donated to a card we do not expect you to contribute again. It is important from an insurance point of view that all participants register. Wrist bands will be issued to all who register. The organisers would like to see as many as possible registering on the 14th April so as to avoid confusion on the 4th May. Completed sponsorship cards and money will also be collected on April 14th. If anyone would like to help with parking cars or act as a steward on May 4th please contact Tom Scanlon on 087 2140916. Anyone willing to help with the catering in the hall can contact Claire Scanlon on 085 1458214.


Plassey 10km run

Monday 25th March 2013

The Jacinta O’Brien Plassey 10km walk and run will take place in the University of Limerick campus on Sunday, April 21.

All money raised will be donated to Cardiac Risk in the Young and Milford Care Centre.

The run is in memory of Jacinta O’Brien, a UL lecturer who died of sudden adult death syndrome some years ago.

Anyone who registers before April 7 will avail of an early bird entry of €20.00 the cost after this date is €25.

See to enter.