A renal patient who has relied so much on dialysis after losing his donated kidney earlier this year is making a Christmas appeal to help support two hospitals.
Mark Dobson, son of former local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson, is appealing for help to support the renal dialysis units which have saved his life.
Mark sadly lost his donated kidney in August and is currently receiving three times per week four hour dialysis sessions at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry. He has been documenting his journey by writing his ‘Dobson on Dialysis’ blog, and contributing on social media.
As a way of giving back to those who have been helping him and to support his fellow transplant patients Mark has set up a JustGiving Christmas Appeal to support the Kidney Transplant Unit at Belfast City Hospital and the Renal Unit at Daisy Hill Hospital.
Read more: Mark’s marathon effort for kidney charity and organ donation in memory of his mum
Mark said: “This year I’ve relied on the skill, expertise and dedicated care of so many of our wonderful Consultants, Doctors and Nurses and this is my way of saying thank you to them and my fellow dialysis patients at Christmas.
“Most people know I’m a massive Northern Ireland fan and for every £5 donated to my appeal I’m giving away an entry into my raffle to win a Northern Ireland shirt signed by the Northern Ireland EURO 16 squad.
“The shirt has been hand-signed by Manager Michael O’Neill and sixteen players including Captain Steven Davis, Kyle Lafferty, Gareth McAuley, Johnny Evans, Josh Magennis, Michael McGovern, Corry Evans, Niall McGinn, Paddy McNair, Ollie Norwood and many others.
“Donations are incredibly important to all transplant patients and their families and as we approach Christmas can I ask you to spare a thought for the life-saving and life-giving power of organ donation and have that conversation with your loved ones.”
Jo-Anne Dobson said: “Mark has had so many wonderful people come into his life in what has been a roller-coaster of a year for him. He’s absolutely determined to give back to those who have supported him and who have gone to great lengths to make sure he is comfortable and his new dialysis routine, which is pretty regimented, goes as smoothly as possible.
“This year I’ve decided to do something I have never done before and instead of sending out Christmas Cards I’ve donated to Marks appeal and would ask you to think of doing the same.”
Concluding Mark said: “Thank you to everyone who has already donated and supported my appeal – your help and messages of support truly mean the world to me.
“I will be drawing the winning ticket while I am hooked up on dialysis at Daisy Hill on Christmas Eve morning and will be in contact with the winner of the signed shirt in time for Christmas Day!”
Mark’s JustGiving Page to support the renal dialysis units at Belfast City and Daisy Hill Hospitals is www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dobsonondialysis
Main image: Northern Ireland Manager Michael O’Neill signs a team shirt as Jo-Anne and Mark Dobson look on – Mark is raffling the shirt to raise funds for the kidney dialysis units at Belfast City and Daisy Hill Hospitals.