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Fundraising events in memory of GAA player who died in 2013

Matthew Drumm, who died in December 2013
Marie Louise McConville

THE family of a young Co Tyrone GAA player who died suddenly in 2013 have organised a series of events in his memory to raise awareness of the issue of organ donation.

Matthew Drumm, who was 22 and a student from Omagh, died as a result of suicide on Christmas Eve 2013.

Because Matthew joined the organ donation register when he was 18, his family took comfort from the fact that seven people were to benefit in the wake of his death.

Now his family have organised a series of events to raise awareness of both organ donation and the issue of suicide among young men.

The `Miles for Matty' Facebook page details a series of fundraising events to take place.

On February 16 a specially designed GAA shirt will be unveiled in Garvaghy by Tyrone manager Mickey Harte and the senior football team.

There will be further promotional events taking place through March in the build up to the main `Miles for Matty' event on May 21 in Omagh when there will be a 60-mile cycle, 10k fun run and 5k walk.

Funds raised through the events will be donated to Northern Ireland Transplant.

Kieran Drumm said that following his brother's death, the family took comfort in knowing he had helped seven people through his organ donation.

"When he was 18 he told our mum that he was going to join the organ register and if anything ever happened him to donate his organs," he said.

"He donated his heart, two lungs, kidneys, pancreas - and his liver went to two different people. As Matthew donated his organs and helped save the lives of seven others, we understand fully the wonderful work this charity does.

"On Christmas Eve 2013, these seven families got the greatest Christmas present of their lives. Out of such tragedy it has brought our family some comfort to receive updates letting us know that the recipients of Matthew’s organs are doing so well. It is the only positive out of this".

Mr Drumm said the family always "wanted to do something in Matthew’s memory".

"I was worried that we had left it too long but the response in the hours after we launched the ‘Miles For Matty’ Facebook page last week was unbelievable. We can’t thank everyone enough," he said.

Further information about the fundraising effort is available on the `Miles For Matty' Facebook page.

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