Mike Keohane, a liver transplant recipient from Rosscarbery, Co Cork, he will be competing in the following sports in the 40-49 category:
- Track & Field – Discus
- Track & Field – Javelin
- Track & Field – 5km Powerwalk
- Track & Field – Shot Put
- Badminton (Doubles)
Mike underwent a liver transplant at St. Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin in December 2007 and since his introduction to transplant sport six years ago he has represented Ireland at several British, European and World Transplant Sports events amassing an impressive haul of medals. At the biennial European Championships in Croatia in 2012, Mike secured Gold medals in both the 5km Race Walk and field discus event. He also added to this success by securing 3 Bronze medals in Darts singles, Badminton singles and Field Shot Putt.
Two years ago, in his early forties, when he competed in the European Championships in Krakow he secured one silver and two bronze medals. His hard fought Bronze medal was secured in the 5km walk crossing the finish line just behind a 24 year old Polish man. His silver medal was won in the darts event beaten by a Slovenian in the final. He also secured a Bronze medal in the field discus event.
Like his Cork teammate Charlie Ryan from Cobh, Mike is hoping for further success in Vantaa and he will compete in five sporting events including what he describes as his ‘main event’, the 5km race walk, as well as in badminton doubles with teammate Richard McEvoy, javelin, discus, and shot putt.
Mike’s wife Dee who has always travelled with him to transplant sport events will once again be there to support him at the Championships in Finland.
Mike’s liver problems began to accelerate when he was eighteen years old. He has always enjoyed football and for over 20 years he has coached the Mount Saint Michael’s secondary school team. Since his teens he played with his local club, Carbery Rangers, for several years despite on some occasions experiencing very low energy levels as his liver function gradually declined. However he managed to continue to play for some of the time prior to and for a shortly after his life saving liver transplant.
In describing what Transplant Sport means to him, Mike said, “It’s been one brilliant journey since I began taking part six years ago and it has opened up a new world to me. The games are very important to me personally. As someone who has enjoyed sport throughout my life, and now that my football days are over, transplant sport has introduced me to a range of new sports which I would never have experienced were it not for my transplant. I now train six days a week. Because of this I am staying fit and healthy which is important post transplant. It’s wonderful that I can compete at this stage in my life. Most importantly participating is my way of showing my gratitude to my deceased donor and their family. I am embracing my second chance at life and I think about my donor and their family and say a prayer for them every day. Transplant Sport has given me the opportunity to represent my country from which I derive a great sense of pride. Myself and my wife Dee have made so many friends from around the world and there is fantastic camaraderie within the Irish team. I find it so rewarding.”