We are delighted to showcase our new educational film on Alpha-1 which was officially launched at the Annual Alpha-1 Conference on October 7th. Funded by an educational grant from the Health Research Board and developed in conjunction with COPD Support Ireland, RCSI, and DCU, we must give very special thanks to the O’Donnell and Gormley families, in particular Anne Gormley and Orla Keane.
Filmed on location in Donegal, Kildare, RCSI Beaumont Hospital, and DCU, the film tells the story of John O’Donnell from Manorcunningham, a talented poet who developed lung disease due to Alpha-1 and tragically passed away at the age of 26.
John’s sister Anne Gormley speaks in the film about her brother and how she has been diagnosed with COPD caused by a combination of Alpha-1 and smoking. Anne talks honestly about the importance of getting tested and the devastating effects of cigarette smoke. Professor McElvaney, an expert on Alpha-1 at the National Centre of Expertise for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency in Beaumont Hospital, discusses the genetics of Alpha-1 and how it is passed down through families, its high prevalence in Ireland, and how research is leading to new treatments for the condition.
The film opens and closes with poetry written by the late John O’Donnell and if you would like to buy a book of his poems please visit here. All proceeds go to Alpha-1 Foundation Ireland. As November is Alpha-1 Awareness Month, the timing of our film is particularly appropriate. Please share this powerful film with as many people as possible and get people talking about Alpha-1.