JO-ANNE Dobson MLA has hosted the launch of the Northern Ireland Transplant Forums (NITF) New Lifecycle 2012 at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.
The Lifecycle is a six-day cycling event performed on consecutive days from Saturday 16 June to Thursday 21 June. The events take place across Northern Ireland, with six local organising committees co-ordinating each of the events.
The local leg of the event takes place on 20 June from Craigavon Hospital.
NITF is an umbrella group of local charities whose primary aim is the promotion of organ donation to raise public awareness of its huge life-saving potential.
Mrs Dobson, an Upper Bann MLA, whose son Mark is a successful kidney transplant patient, has had a long association with the Northern Ireland Kidney Patients’ Association (NIKPA), one of the charities under the umbrella of the Forum. Speaking after launch event she said:
“The build-up to the Lifecycle has been incredibly intense. Everyone is looking forward so much to taking part, to raise awareness of organ donation and to help raise much needed funds to help kidney patients and their families. Our aim is ultimately to encourage a greater number of people to sign the organ donor register.
“I am looking forward to taking part in the local leg of the event takes place on Wednesday 20 June and calls at Craigavon Hospital.
“I am proud to once more use my position as an MLA to host an event in Parliament Buildings to help support and promote a cause which I have been a long-term campaigner for. which I have been a long-term campaigner for.
“I was delighted that the Health Minister Edwin Poots MLA and many of my Ulster Unionist MLA colleagues and other MLA’s were able to attend the launch alongside transplant patients, volunteers and campaigners from across Northern Ireland.
“It is hoped that on each day there will be transplanted patients cycling to celebrate their Gift of Life. They will be accompanied by their family members, relatives, friends, medical staff or any other cyclists who would like to support and endorse Organ Donation.
Each daily route is divided into 10 mile legs and full details of the routes are available from the NIKPA website at www.nikpa.org or contact organiser William Johnston on 028 9127 1312.