Irish born comedian and star podcaster Jarlath Regan is on TV3 next Tuesday night to talk about donating a kidney to save his brother’s life. More below.
You may recognise Jarlath, or even his voice from his weekly podcast ‘An Irishman Abroad’, the award winning show where the comedian conducts interviews with other comedians, entertainers, sports people and other celebrities.
Last June Jarlath received the news that his older brother, Adrian, needed a kidney transplant. Younger by 10 years, the 36 year didn’t even need to think about it, once he knew he was a match the decision was made.
“I laid my cards firmly on the table the second it was mentioned,” he says. “I’d give it to him tomorrow if he needed it. I said I would post it to him. I don’t know where that feeling came from, but I guess people reading this interview can probably relate to it – there are things that you’ll do for your family that you’d have to think long and hard about for other people.”
“My brother was my best friend growing up. He had been a support the whole way through my life. A second father is how I’d describe my brother to me. I joke about it but if he came back to me now and said, ‘It’s not actually the kidney this time, it’s my thumb; I need another thumb,’ I’d happily give him mine.”
Adrian works as a stud farmer in Kentucky, USA, where he lives with his wife. The operation was scheduled for February 1, at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. As the date for it drew closer, his kid brother wasn’t assailed by doubts about the organ donation.
He is no stranger to kidney issues as his wife has been struggling for years.
“This is not my first rodeo. My wife’s kidney situation for the 17 years that we’ve been together has not been good and has required hospitalisation at various different times.
The kidney transplant means prolonging Adrian’s life by possibly 30 years!
“I call my kidney Declan. That’s the one I gave him. I held onto Billy. Declan is a beast. Every meeting Adrian goes to, the doctors say, ‘This is a spectacular kidney.’ That is very heartening to hear. While he will be on a lot of medication, in terms of anti-rejection pills, and he has a long road ahead, but it’s one that is substantially less uphill.”
FYI – Declan Kidney was the head coach of the Ireland national rugby union team from 2008 to 2013, where he won the 2009 Six Nations with a Grand Slam, winning the 2009 IRB Coach of the Year. As part of Irishman Abroad Jarlath has featured a host of star rugby players and next Tuesday at 10.30pm (after Champions League) he is a guest on TV3’s rugby entertainment series THE CLUBHOUSE along with playing legend David Wallace.