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Campaign to raise money for Orla Tinsley's lung transplant care hits target

A fundraiser has been set up to help Irish journalist Orla Tinsley raise money for a lung transplant aftercare.

Capture The fundraising page for Orla Tinsley Source: GoFundMe

A FUNDRAISING DRIVE to help raise money for treatment for cystic fibrosis campaigner Orla Tinsley has hit its target of $50,000 (€42,950) just three days after it was set up.

Kildare native Tinsley has spent years campaigning tirelessly for people with cystic fibrosis (CF) and now she’s on a waiting list for a double lung transplant.

Tinsley went into respiratory failure last year, which has left her in need of the transplant.

Tinsley moved to New York in 2014 to study at Columbia University. Her condition has left her unable to travel on a flight back to Ireland and she’s currently on the active waiting list at Columbia New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Her friend and writer Belinda McKeon set up a GoFundMe page to raise $50,000 to cover the care and recovery costs associated with the surgery, which aren’t covered by her insurance.

Advocacy 

Since making the move to the US, the 30-year-old journalist has continued to fight for people in Ireland to be able to avail of the Orkambi drug through her writing.

“Throughout her own trials with CF, Orla has never stopped using her voice to advocate for her community,” McKeon wrote on the fundraising page.

After years of helping others, Orla now needs our help. She would never put it this way herself, but as her friend and as a long-time admirer of her work, her spirit and her downright grit, I’m saying it.

“Through her journalism and activism, she fought for people back in Ireland to be able to benefit from Orkambi, the drug which was making a huge difference to her own life.”

CF is Ireland’s most common life-threatening disease. A genetic disorder, it affects the regulation of absorption and secretion of salt and water in the body.

This can result in a build-up of sticky mucus which can clog airwaves and harbour harmful bacteria. The most common symptom of CF is a recurrent chest infection which can lead to lung damage.

At the time of publishing, Tinsley’s transplant fund has raised $60,225 (€51,735), donated by over 1,000 people since Friday.

Tinsley added her own note to the fundraising page and said:

“I am proud that I have been able to make a positive contribution to my life and hope I have been worthy of it.

I was lucky to have a mission and to know it from a very young age. Now I am older and my time is running out. Unless I get a life-saving lung transplant I will die.

“I need to stay close to the hospital for one year until I recover and work hard at rehabilitation and take on all the other challenges post transplant life bring.  I am ready for this. I am ready for this new challenge and my warrior heart is open.”

Donations can be made to the Orla Tinsley transplant fund here

Read: Orla Tinsley: Honesty about death and purpose in life

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