Wednesday, April 20, 2022
THE 2022 Punchestown Festival will host the 31st running of the Annual Charity Race on Saturday 30 April in aid of the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund. (P.K.R.F.).

Punchestown Sponsorship Coordinator Leona Hughes will take part in the 2022 Punchestown Kidney Research Fund Charity race

This fantastic fundraising initiative has stood the test of time and remains as popular as ever with applications oversubscribed each year. This year was particularly challenging with a much reduced preparation time but a huge effort by organisers and participants saw the plan come to fruition. The race involves 25 ‘amateur’ riders, battling it out over one mile and seven furlongs around the famous Punchestown course. Each rider must raise €1,500 for the P.K.R.F.  and pass an assessment in order to participate.

In 2022, the PKRF is looking forward to partnering with the Irish Kidney Association to set up a Pilot Peer Support Program to help kidney patients and their families who are starting out on the road to dialysis or looking at the possibility of a life-saving kidney transplant.  This support network will enable people to reach out and connect with a trained volunteer  to discuss their concerns about dialysis and transplantation.

Kilcullen Butcher, James Nolan initiated both the charity and the race having received the GIFT OF LIFE when his sister Catherine Doyle donated one of her kidneys to him on the 25th July 1987. He has ridden in the race himself 13 times and won it on 50 to 1 shot Nero’s Dancer in 2002, an experience he describes as one of the highlights of his life.

The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund Charity Race was founded in 1990 and has raised €1.6 million to date.  They have invested these funds in projects that improve the quality of life for patients on dialysis, projects that establish ways to maximise the life span of the transplanted kidney and identify projects that examine the causes that lead to renal failure. Unfortunately, due to the Covid19 pandemic the race could not place in both 2020 and 2021. As a result, the PKRF had no major projects during this time but have supported the following projects from 2016 to 2019:

  • €150,000 donated to open a new renal unit at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin.
  • €50,000 donated to support 2 kidney related research projects under the guidance of the Irish Nephrology Society.
  • €60,000 donated to continue our Art Therapy programs for Dialysis Patients in Tallaght & Waterford Dialysis Units.
  • €10,000 donated to our Sports Program for Dialysis & Transplant Patients.
  • Organised trips to Lourdes for Dialysis patients.
  • Organised Dietary Books for Dialysis patients.

 

The plaque in Temple Street Children’s Hospital  where funds went towards the nurses station in the renal ward opened 2018.

 

Leona Hughes, Punchestown Sponsorship coordinator explains why she is taking part in this year’s race “Whatever about challenging yourself I think this race makes you consider how lucky we are to be in a position to choose. There are plenty of people who would love to take part in something like this but unfortunately cannot due to illness. I hope we raise plenty of money for James and his team because the work they do is amazing. The atmosphere is always brilliant and we feel it is the most important race of the entire festival because it makes such a difference to so many lives”.
The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund uses the Charity Race as a major Organ Donor Awareness Event in Ireland.  Indeed the simple measure of carrying an Organ Donor Card or having the conversation about Organ Donation and informing one’s next of kin of one’s wish to donate organs can save someone’s life.
Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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