Two inspirational sisters from Kildress have made their mark for Tyrone after snapping up a haul of silverware at the British Transplant Games in Newcastle.
And, in a sign that they may have even benefited from a little divine intervention during their unforgettable trip, a chance meeting with GAA legend Peter Canavan when they arrived at the airport gave Ailis Corey and her sister Brenda the boost they needed before the games kicked off.
Ailis endured a long and difficult battle with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a blood cancer, in 2012 but, thankfully, has since been given the all-clear.
She told the TIMES of her excitement following the chance meeting with her footballing hero: “I took this meeting with ‘God’ as a good sign of things to come!”
Ailis’ journey to recovery was given a major boost when Brenda donated her stem cells to give her precious sister a second chance at life.
The pair’s visit to Newcastle saw Ailis being given the honour of carrying the banner for the Belfast Adults team at the games’ opening ceremony and she won a bronze in the 5k time-trial section, along with a silver in the 3k walk.
Brenda, meanwhile, scooped silver in the inaugural living donor swim relay, while her son Mark also won silver in the five-a-side competition, meaning the Corey family well and truly were a force to be reckoned with.
Speaking after the games, Ailis said of the experience: “I can’t thank the Transplant Sport Northern Ireland team enough for making myself, Brenda, Mark and Jordan feel so welcome - you are all legends, heroes and superstars and made our first ever games extra extra special. Roll on Liverpool 2016, I’ve got a gold to add to this collection!”