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Bannsiders support Donate4Dáithí campaign

COLERAINE FC have showed their support to the Donate4Dáithí campaign by releasing a video in aid of the West Belfast boy…

Daithi Mac Gabhann, who is four-years-old, has been waiting on the gift of a new heart for over three years now.

He was born with a congenital heart defect which has left him with half a working heart.

During Dáithí’s wait for a heart transplant, his mum and dad have started up the Donate4Dáithí campaign to raise awareness of organ donation and create hope for Dáithí and others waiting on the gift of life.

As a result of the campaign tens of thousands have joined the Organ Donor Register.

Just a few weeks ago, Dáithí stood with Robin Swann along with the First and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland after campaigning for Soft Opt-Out Organ Donation to become law in NI.

Speaking to The Chronicle, Dáithí’s father Máirtín, explained that the Bannsiders’ pink European kit played a significant factor in them getting in touch.

“We reached out to the club after our friend and lifelong Coleraine fan David Templeton mentioned that Coleraine had a pink European jersey,” he said.

“The colour pink has a lot of meaning to us as it’s the colour of our Donate4Dáithí campaign and NHS Organ Donation.

“Our son Dáithí has been on the waiting list for most of his young life. He is just 4 years old. Stevie McCann got back to us within 20 minutes of emailing confirming their support, which just shows the character and community aspect of such a great club.”

The video which was created by David Cavan, includes footage of Dáithí and interviews with his parents, Maírtín and Seph Ní Mhealláin.

However, Maírtín was quick to point out that Dáithí was co-producer for the video,.

“The reaction to the video has been just incredible,” he continued.

“We have done a lot of videos in our time but this captures of journey beautifully and it is definitely one of our favourites.

“It is so special and David Cavan worked wonders with it. He even called it a coproduction with Dáithí himself. David was amazing with Dáithí and so patient.”

The family were special guests at Thursday night’s Europa Conference League clash between Coleraine and FK Velez Mostar.

David and Dáithí’s video was shown on the Mourneview Park big screen during the half-time interval, as well as being aired on the club’s YouTube channel.

“Dáithí loves football so much and he most certainly loves every minute of the game on Thursday night,” Maírtín confessed.

“He was presented with a Coleraine jersey and was kissing the badge (even though he’s a Cliftonville fan). When Coleraine scored he had his jersey off within second and was swinging it around in delight.

“Stewarty Nixon was also fantastic with Dáithí at half-time and helped us create beautiful memories with our wee man.

“Most importantly we hope that it helps spark that conversation around organ donation as we feel that conversations about organ donation can save lives; can save Dáithí’s life.

“It’s hard to put our thanks into words but we will be forever grateful to Coleraine Football Club for the support.”

A spokesperson for Coleraine FC said:

“Coleraine FC are proud to support the Donate4Dáithí campaign and encourage all our fans to consider joining the Organ Donor Register to create hope for all those waiting for the gift of life here in Northern Ireland, and beyond.”

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