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Friday 25 May 2018
'Everyone has the power to be a lifesaver'

On 20 March 2018 Mark Dobson received the ultimate gift from his mother JoAnne Dobson as she donated her kidney for his transplant. 

Former 'Fan of the Month' Mark is an avid Northern Ireland fan having only missed one home match - and that was due to having his kidney transplant! 

He said: "I normally would go to every home match with my Granda and cousin but the last one against South Korea I was viewing it from City Hospital as I was just post transplant."

Mark was quick to praise the GAWA for the support he received while in hospital: "The fans have been amazing, there were supporters tweeting me and sending good luck messages while I was getting my transplant and it gave me a real boost."

His mother JoAnne Dobson also seen the support received as a fantastic help in aiding recovery.

She said:"To have a brand new away shirt delivered up to the ward from a representitive from the Irish FA meant so much. 

"I was in recovery and when I heard the news that someone had been up it was priceless for me to see the smile on his face, it really helped to aid his recovery." 

JoAnne gave her son the gift of life and would like others to be aware that we all have the opportunity to save lives. 

She said: "Make sure you have that conversation with your loved ones and tell them your wishes if you'd like to be an organ doner. 

"We all have it within us to be a lifesaver, you can help someone live after your death. The more people that sign up to the organ donor register and have that conversation the more hope it gives people and means that not everyone is sentenced to lifetime on dialysis " 

You can watch an extended interview with Mark and his mother JoAnne by clicking the thumbnail at the top of the page.