2 time transplant recipient, mayo person of the year, sports fanatic and gold medalist!.
To say that Darren has been through the ringer is an understatement but he has always come out swinging - we talk to him about setting up his own business and what he uses from his personal life to overcome the challenges.
In 1998, while in college studying Sports and Fitness, Darren was diagnosed with Kidney failure! A trip to an optician resulted in an emergency admission into hospital; his blood pressure was so high it was bursting blood vessels in his eyes and they worried he would have a stroke!
A short 10 days later Darren went from a 21 year old sports-fitness fanatic to a dialysis patient, attending hospital 3 times a week for treatment and facing a lifetime of pain and ill health.
However Darren was not giving up - he faced adversary like all great sportsmen and ‘got back on the bike’, riding the rollercoaster of emotions and challenges head on and reigniting his passion for sports at the World Transplant Games, shifting his mindset from patient to athlete. He went on to win not only medals in sprinting but was bestowed the honorary title of ‘fastest sick man in Europe’.
23 years later, 2 transplant operations and over 1800 hospital visits behind him, Darren now travels the country speaking and educating others, utilising the lessons and experiences he has learnt in overcoming ill health. He also runs private support groups for people suffering from Kidney failure and is a champion organ donation crusader/campaigner. This year Darren celebrated the 10 years anniversary of his second kidney transplant and marked the occasion by plunging into the icy depths of Clew Bay for 10 straight days in frosty February, for Darren honouring his donor and the family helps keep him motivated.
“The old saying of "...you will never see a trailer on a hearse" is apt. However, what you do see behind a hearse are the friends and family who's life you've positively influenced by giving your time, energy and attention to, throughout your life.”
"Darren has a unique ability to connect his experiences as a patient to diverse audiences. A truly engaging and inspiring speaker."
Michael Bourke Clinical Meeting Manager @ Novo Nordisk