2197. Seán Smyth
Seán Smyth, from Belfast, lost his daughter Eimear in 2019, aged 25, following complications from a bone marrow transplant she received due to her diagnosis with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
In Eimear’s memory, Seán created the charity ‘Eimear’s Wish’, to honour her wish of getting more people to sign up to the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Seán tours the region in his pink horsebox trailer, visiting local community groups, sporting events and universities. The attention gained from the pink horse box enables him to raise awareness and highlight to people the importance of signing up to stem cell donation. Earlier this year, he worked with Belfast City Council who supported his ‘Donuts for Donors’ campaign and arranged for the City Hall to light up pink on the 31st January for Northern Ireland’s first ever Stem Cell Donation Awareness Day. Next year, Seán hopes that the City Hall and Parliament will be illuminated pink as a thank you to organ, blood and stem cell donors and encourage more people to join the stem cell donor register and donate blood. Seán’s efforts to raise awareness of stem cell donation has resulted in thousands of people signing up to the Bone Marrow Donor Registry.
Seán has also undertaken a number of fundraising activities to raise money for local cancer charities and has organised ‘Eimear’s Wish Tuck Shop’ to deliver sweet treats to patients of local hospitals.
“Although the award is given to me, Eimear’s Wish would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of our volunteers or without all communities in Northern Ireland welcoming us with open arms. I’m sure that as winners of the award, it will help us raise stem cell donor awareness and create hope for people with life threatening illnesses like blood cancer. We are very grateful to have been recognised.”
Find out more about ‘Eimear’s Wish’