Irene Anderson and her husband Gary have a lot to be thankful for this Christmas and Irene's sister Evelyn is partly responsible for it.
Dermot & Dave received an email from Irene, pleading with them to help her figure out what present she could get for her sister that would match the act of kindness the couple witnessed this year.
Irene's letter read, 'I’m writing to you today because we are big fans and we just KNOW that you’ll be able to help us out.
'In our house we do KK at Christmas as there are a gazillion of us kids (8 really - not a gazillion ) and each year we get one of our siblings to buy a present for – so far, no probs, right?
'Well, THIS year, I got my little sister Evelyn (D'Arcy)– who is absolutely beyond measure the nicest, kindest, most amazing person you could ever hope to have as a KK, let alone as a sister. And it is really really really important that the gift she gets this year is more special than usual.
'You see, my husband Gary (we’re only married since September..”husband”..squee!) needed a kidney transplant last year. He had been put on the list for transplant and was over 18 months waiting at that stage. As it is a hereditary illness and we have two small boys, we decided it would be unwise for me to go forward to be tested to be a live donor. BUT my beautiful sister Evelyn DID put herself forward. She spent over 6 months getting tests, doing evaluations, getting prodded and poked so that Gary could have a fighting chance. While Evelyn was going through all this, Gary’s health was deteriorating and he was getting prepared for dialysis.
'He was still on the list for deceased donors too as they have to keep you in both streams for the best possible chance. You can’t imagine what it’s like to have two of the people you love the most preparing for life changing surgeries with completely different outcomes and no guarantees. To say rollercoaster of emotion is too Ronan Keating and not enough Eddie Vedder. You can imagine what we were all going through. Then – on 20th September last year at ten past 1 in the morning, we got THE PHONECALL from Beaumont.
'They had a match from a deceased donor. Some poor family had decided in their darkest hour to give our little family a spark of hope and so we went up to the hospital. Gary got his transplant that day and our lives began again. We will never be able to thank that family for the kindness they showed us in their grief. And the double whammy was that my baby sister wouldn’t have to go through with the surgery after all. A year on and we can breathe again – he’s made it past the first year but only for my lovely Evelyn, our reservoirs of hope would have run dry long before that night. She gave us a lifeline when we had nothing to hold onto and so we want to say Thank You …and that’s where we hope that you can come in…
'What gift do you get for the girl who gave our family hope? What gift could possibly measure up? We’re only getting back on our feet now after the last few years so we haven’t much to offer, much less to spend, but we want to do something…anything to show her what it meant to us…
'I’ve been throwing hints to see if there’s anything in particular she’s after, but she’s a girl of simple tastes and would be as happy with a jar of seashells as she would with a 5 star hotel. She likes to travel and loves music and concerts – favourite bands being Pearl Jam and Radiohead – neither of which have upcoming shows announced. She laughingly sent our WhatsApp group a picture of Cillian Murphy with the hashtag #KKPresent as she thinks he’s pure class, but obvs that’s beyond our abilities outside of maybe a cinema ticket.
Irene signed off the letter with, 'Is there something ye can think of, something we could do? We’d be so grateful if you could help us out guys.'
So Dermot & Dave decided to see what they could do and ended up surprising Evelyn with a well-deserved reward for her selfless act, on Christmas Eve.
Dermot & Dave said, 'We heard Evelyn is a big music fan so we’ve arranged tickets for Foo Fighters next year in the RDS on August 21st.
'But we didn't want to stop there, so after a chat with our good pals in Sunway Travel, we were able to arrange a gorgeous week-long trip to Lanzarote for her next year, staying at The Puertocarmen Aparthotel.'
You can listen to the moment Irene surprised Evelyn live on air with Dermot & Dave below!