CELEBRATE THE GIFT OF LIFE OCTOBER 10th To “give a stranger the shirt off his back” is often used to describe someone who is extremely generous, helpful, or compassionate. To give one of your internal organs so another can live can be described as the height of courage. This selfless act of bravery was exemplified recently when Denver Police Detective (DPD) Danny Veith donated one of his kidneys to Ed David, also a Detective with DPD. A 16 year veteran (prior years at Glendale PD, CO) Detective Veith is now in charge of the DPD Employee Assistance & Wellness Unit that serves 1,400 officers. Among his duties is to assist officers who have health issues that effect their jobs and to liaison with people who have the expertise to relieve and remedy. In March 2010 he was approached by Detective David who had a very serious issue. “We hardly new each other,” recalled Veith who spoke with the Celtic Connection prior to the donation procedure, adding, “I just wanted to help a fellow officer in need.” Det. David was scheduled to receive a kidney but there were functional issues with the donor”s kidney and he was unable to donate. Veith began to read and research on the topic and in the process decided to promote a kidney donor drive at DPD in hopes of finding a match. As well as encouraging others to get involved, Veith also signed up to participate, “I felt that I needed to lead by example and put my money where my mouth was.” In June he found out the results of the donor candidates test. Out of the officers tested there was one who”s blood type matched Det. David”s and who was deemed the best donor candidate. It was Veith. Veith told David that a donor match was found but kept the donor”s name anonymous. As more tests and time progressed towards the September surgery date Veith called David, “I told him that the anonymous donor wanted to meet us down at the Celtic Tavern,” and added with a chuckle, “You should have seen the look on his face when the meeting took place and I told him that the donor was me.” Though different work shifts and areas of specialization within DPD kept Veith and David as virtual strangers, the extraordinary circumstances that have taken place since March have created good friends. A week or so prior to the September 27 surgery David presented Veith with a watch. It came with the inscription, “9-27-2010 BRAIPHREACHAS” described Veith, “Which is Gaelic for “Brotherhood” along with our surgery date. Ed bought an identical watch with the same inscription so that we will have more in common than just matching kidneys.” Having a mother from Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland, Veith has a respect and appreciation for his roots. He is co-founder of the Colorado Emerald Society (Detective George Kennedy served as the first President, and Veith the first Vice-President). The Colorado Emerald Society is a social organization for police, fire, and emergency responders whom help perpetuate the traditions of the Irish in public safety. Retired DPD officer and current President of the Colorado Emerald Society Dave O’Shea-Dawkins worked with Veith and spoke of his character and police service. “Danny and I worked at Denver Police District 6 together. I was a street supervisor and at one point he was on bicycle patrol. He worked the downtown area and was very community oriented. He worked closely with the homeless and every morning he would check on them – he knew where they were sleeping- and make sure they were ok. When a homeless organizations reached out to the DPD, it was Danny they sought. My desk at work had the American and Irish flags on it, as well as a Sinn Fein poster, and when Danny saw those items we became good friends.” He points out how Veith”s concern for others continues at his role with the Assistance & Wellness Unit. “He calls it the POWER UNIT, “Police Officer Wellness Employee Assistance” He was always concerned about his fellow officers health and how the job affected their health. You know, long hours of boredom interrupted by instant adrenalin rushes. Many officers compensated by eating poorly and drinking too much. Danny’s unit makes them aware of these dangers, offers alternatives to a healthier police life. He is also there to assist officers and families when an officer is sick or injured, or a family member. So, Danny is the guy you want as a friend and a backup because he is competent and caring.” On Sunday October 10, The Celtic Tavern, 1801 Blake St will hold a fundraiser from 3-8pm. “The fundraiser was originally conceived as a small get together to help me compensate for the lost wages from all the extra-duty jobs I do.” Said Veith, “It started to grow in popularity, so we decided the excess funds attained would roll over into Ed David’s existing medical fund. Now that it is getting bigger, we are focusing on using it as an opportunity to bring about awareness in the Denver area for the need for blood, organ, and tissue donations. So we are hoping your story will point that out — that we want anyone and everyone to attend as we are striving for blood, organ, and tissue donor awareness in Colorado.” (Contributions payable to the “Danny Veith Fund” can also be sent to Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, 700 W. 39th Ave., Denver, CO., 80216.)

© 2015 Celtic Connection Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha