Many of us can only dream of jetting off to a remote destination but for one Cork man, this dream could soon become a reality.
Brian Kidd from Fermoy, Co Cork is among 50 people shortlisted for the ‘This is Your Life Change’ competition. Brian was selected from almost 4,000 applicants.
The only Irish semi-finalist, 23-year-old Brian said he would love nothing more than a two-week trip to a remote Fijian island.
But, for him, the trip is about much more than a holiday.
The idea of the competition is simple: take six people, with six dreams, and take them to Fiji for a fortnight.
While there, they would be set to work with a personal trainer, a life coach and a business coach — inspiring them to take their initial idea, bring it home, and set it in motion.
Brian’s dream is to set up a charity for Hepatitis C sufferers. His mother contracted the virus during the 1992 anti-D scandal.
“Throughout the 1970s to the 1990s there was something created called the anti-D immunoglobulin.
“My mother was injected with this anti-D after my birth. As a result, my mother now has hepatitis C,” he said.
“At the moment she’s pretty much in bed all the time.
“She’s still very sick, but at least she’s alive, and that’s the main thing. She has home help but she’s not getting that much support from the Government,” Brian said.
“I want to set up the charity to help sufferers, but also to focus on the families of sufferers and provide counselling and support for them too.”
Anti-D, a product made from donated blood, was given to new mothers with the blood type Rhesus Negative who gave birth to Rhesus Positive babies.
The product had been administered to safeguard the health of future babies but some of the Rhesus Positive could have passed into the bloodstream and antibodies were created.
In some cases, there had been fatalities.
Use of anti-D became common practice in maternity hospitals but, decades later, it emerged the blood donor whose plasma was used to make the anti-D had jaundice and hepatitis.
“Throughout the years, I never felt I thanked my mother enough for bringing me into this world, for bringing me up, for giving me such a good life.
“I want to help those people who have not been shown as much support as they should have been.
“So my proposal is to create a hepatitis C charity to not only help people in Ireland but to help people worldwide, and hopefully make a difference,” Brian said.
Three winners will be chosen from among the semi-finalists by judges, and three other by the public.
Voting is open until May 31.