Dublin Duo remain true team players
MICK MANGAN played senior hurling for Dublin and Crumlin too. He represented the Dubs all the way up from U14 level.
He was forced to retire from the game over 20 years ago due to kidney failure.
"Over the last twenty years I have received two kidney transplants and a triple by-pass. I have also undergone treatment for skin cancer," reveals Mick.
Battling his illness, Mick has shown the same qualities that marked him as a hurler - total commitment.
He was the essential team player. Still is.
Mick has now set up a charity with the Dublin football icon, David Hickey.
"My two kidney transplants were carried out by David Hickey, who is such a great man," says Mick.
"He was a legendary player for the Dubs. He won three All-Ireland medals, six Leinster titles and two All-Stars. And then, of course, became a successful selector in the modern era.
"But his greatest achievement is what he has done for kidney patients all over Ireland.
"He has performed over 1,500 kidney transplants. He's just remarkable."
The charity is called Patient 2 Patient Shared Experiences. It's a non-profit organisation.
"It's run by patients for patients," explains Mick.
It aims to improve the lives of fellow patients.
It will provide One to One Support, Group Meetings, On-line Support and a dedicated Support Phone Line.
"We offer practical advice to people diagnosed with kidney failure from people who have travelled the road before them.
"Talking to a fellow patient who has been through what you have gone through is a fantastic tool for the medical team to call on."
There's a case study on a 58-year-old female who spent four years on Dialysis and three years on a transplant list.
She endured isolation, loneliness, fear and a lack of communication.
"Talking to a fellow patient helped me greatly," she said.
The message from Mick and David that is that everything seems worse when faced alone.
But through the charity, those who have worn the boots are able to say 'I don't have to imagine what you are going through . . . I know'.