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Sequence comes together as Rita makes good on vow & raises cash to get live-saving machine for the Mater Hospital; Three years after the death of Oliver Brady his business partner fulfils his wish as their Shabra Charity Foundation provides the first ever Genetic Sequencing Department in Ireland.

Byline: Siobhan O'Connor

A brave man's dying wish to donate life-saving equipment to the Mater Hospital has become a reality.

Before he passed away, entrepreneur and philanthropist Oliver Brady, from Co Monaghan, spent over a decade giving back to society with his business partner Rita Shah through their Shabra Charity Foundation.

Some three years after his death in 2014 Brady's dream has been realised with the first ever Genetic Sequencing Department in Ireland being launched in the Dublin hospital.

The life-saving machine provides the capability to diagnose and treat patients based on personalised care with the chance to diagnose and treat ill health before symptoms have progressed and therefore mitigating the chance for negative outcomes.

From building schools in Kenya, to supporting a school in Nigeria, where the girls were treated like second-class citizens, Brady, who passed away 75, dedicated his later years to the charity.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror Rita said: "It's heart-warming to know that the efforts of the charity are paying off. We raised over [euro]1.4million and donated the first world class gene sequencing equipment in Ireland.

"It was Oliver's last wish, before he died to raise the money for this equipment.

"He had cancer he knew it was going to get him so before he passed away he asked the consultants what they wanted before he passed.

"He had such craic with them saying what do you want from Shabra charity.

"The guys said we'd give him something he won't be able to deliver."

Rita told how Oliver, who was a well-known horse trainer, had an aversion to doctors and if it wasn't for Rita's insistence on attending he would have died 15 years previous.

Rita added: "Shabra was everything, it's a very big business in recycling, we have about 70 people working.

"I told him I wouldn't open the door to him at Shabra unless he went to the doctor, I'd bribe him.

"If you don't go I'll tell everyone not to go to Shabra."

Upon her insistence Oliver started seeing a medical team before his body finally gave up.

Rita said: "The first time he had a cardiac problem, then prostate cancer, then he became diabetic, then a quadruple bypass. q p yp Everything was fine for 10 years plus and then in the end the cancer came back and he had to have a defibrillator put in his heart.

"He was a popular horse trainer too and so charismatic, you'd never want to move away from him."

Oliver didn't think he'd die so quickly and during his funeral in September 2014 Rita made a promise and told his casket she would fulfil his dying wish.

Rita said: "I was very downbeat about it and after about five months I went over to the hospital and asked the p t doctors what equipment Oliver had promised.

"Oliver had also left conditions, it must be a proper built lab, properly staffed with the equipment.

"The doctors held their heads down to the floor when I asked them the price.

"I thought it was going to be a couple of hundred and I'd have no problem raising that and then they told me it was a [euro]2million project and the equipment was [euro]1million.

"You can imagine how I felt even if I had to leave Ireland and sell everything I was still going to do it."

Rita did everything in her power to raise the funds, she said: "I started fundraising in Croke Park in 2015 and name it and I was like an orphan begging.

"People would say I wish I never saw that woman, whether it was a golf day, shaking a bucket, standing in a funfair. "People came to know about it because of the special gene-related equipment.

"People came together so well, even in London and we raised enough to buy the equipment a day before Oliver's anniversary."

The machine is groundbreaking technology meaning doctors can give patients the gifts of decades.

Rita explained: "This is precision diagnostics, which means if one is diagnosed the first thing they can do is medication, operation surgery, neurology or radiology.

"The machine means you can treat someone for what's wrong straight away and add 10 years to their life."

With former Liverpool star Ian Rush and celebrity chef Neven Maguire (circled above) as patrons the Shabra Foundation is going from strength to strength with no sign of letting up.

Rita added: "Neven and Ian are always on hand, Neven became good friends with me when I won Ernst and Young entrepreneur runner-up of the year.

"Giving was Oliver's life, he got a lot of pleasure and satisfaction by helping people.

"When he was diagnosed with cancer he almost got a second life and his spirit is still here driving our charity."

For further information go to www.shabracharity.com

CAPTION(S):

DRIVEN Rita Shah delivers her message at a Preview for the 2014 Cheltenham Races

WINNER Oliver Brady and jockey Matthew Bowes after Shabra Charity won The Medicare Pharmacy Maiden Hurdle at Down Royal in 2011

SUPPORT Patron Ian Rush and Carol Anthony at the recent Shabra Charity Oliver Brady Memorial Leopardstown event
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Feb 22, 2018
Words:863
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