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Kidney Transplant Recipient Sara Jane Tracy to Ride at Punchestown

Home | News | Kidney Transplant Recipient Sara Jane Tracy to Ride at Punchestown

19th Apr 2024

“Have the conversation – say YES to Organ Donation”
Punchestown Charity Race – Saturday 4th May 2024

Kidney Transplant recipient Sara Jane Tracy to ride at the Punchestown Festival to highlight the success of Organ Donation and Transplantation
The 33rd running of the annual Punchestown Charity Race will take place on Saturday 4th May at the Punchestown Festival. To date this race has raised over €1.8 million for various kidney related projects for the Kildare based, registered Irish Charity, The Punchestown Kidney Research Fund.

This year will be a very special year as amongst the 25 jockeys taking part will be Sara Jane Tracy who is a kidney transplant recipient from Kill, Co. Kildare.
Sara Jane explains “In a life-altering moment in November 2021, my godfather Alex Tracy gifted me a second chance at life by donating his kidney. This selfless act, supported by his family and the exceptional medical teams at Beaumont and St. Vincent’s hospitals, marked the end of a challenging five-year wait on the transplant list and catapulted me from severe illness to robust health. Overwhelmed with gratitude, I am now committed to giving back to those who face similar challenges.”

  •  Sara Jane is keen to raise as much Organ Donor awareness in Ireland by participating in the “Kidney” race at the Festival. Sara Jane will have her cousin, Jack Tracy flying in from Germany to take part alongside her.
    • Maurice McCarthy & Patrick Chesters will be representing England and Niall McCarthy representing Co. Down.
    • Elite marathoner runner and popular jockey’s agent Garry Cribbin is participating and will be critiqued closely by Rachel Blackmore, Mark Walsh, Darragh O’ Keefe and Sean Flanagan
    • Wicklow’s Grace O’ Rourke won the RTE Ultimate Hell Week competition in 2019 and agrees this is just as big a challenge.
    • Athy based horse trainer Adrian Sexton hopes his previous appearance on Ireland’s Fittest Family will have him ready for the big occasion. While Kildare locals Anna Cropper, Paddy Hayes and Eimear Smullen are sure to have huge local support.• Joan Tyner will be flying the Goff’s flag and Tim Doyle’s daughter Cora will be making her second appearance in the race.
    • Punchestown debutants include Kilkenny hurler Dan Blanchfield, David Morgan, Nina Dibrita , Conor Hawkins and Joanna Thornton
    • The dark horse might be the very stylish jockey Glen Norris who has previous racecourse experience as have Grace Dorgan, Paddy Leigh, Michelle O Brien, Peter Rathigan, Gary Harkin and Jamie Kavanagh.

Along with Sara Jane all the riders will have lots of local support as the race is the curtain closer to the week’s racing and is always a highlight for the 30,000 people in attendance on the big day.

In 2024 there were 74 applicants for the 25 places and all the 25 amateur jockeys have completed a fitness assessment at the jockey’s apprentice school R.A.C.E. in Co. Kildare. Also, they have all had to pass a medical in order to participate. On top of that before taking part all 25 jockeys have to raise a minimum of €1,500 for the Punchestown Kidney Research Fund, which is a Kildare based, registered Irish Charity.

  • €1.8 million has been raised to date and during the past 5 years the PKRF managed to support the following projects:
    • We supported the building of a brand new Renal Ward at Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin.
    • We sponsored and helped the IKA establish a Peer Support program for all Kidney patients in Ireland. This program offers vital supports to patients and their families who are dealing with all the various issues and concerns that is all part of being a Dialysis or Transplant patient.
    • We established the James Tracy/PKRF/Kidney Beam Exercise program for all Dialysis & Transplant patients, which will enable all patients to access free, online, live and on demand exercise classes, specifically tailored to all different levels of fitness and specifically for Kidney patients.
    • We continued our research into Polycystic Kidney Disease in partnership with the Irish Nephrology Society under the guidance of the Irish Research Council.
    • We continued our support for our “State Man” Art Therapy programs for Dialysis Patients in Tallaght & Waterford hospitals – and expanded this to Wexford in 2024.
    • We continued to support Sports Programs for Dialysis & Transplant Patients.

For more information please contact James Nolan at 086/2349919.

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