People, Places and Things
…with Sarah Pender
Sarah Pender is a graduate of veterinary medicine from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Budapest. From Caltra in Galway, Sarah was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at nine months’ old. Sarah was one of a group of over 100 students from around Ireland to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012 to create a Guinness World Record for the most people on the summit of Kilimanjaro at one time. Here we chatted to Sarah about her inspirations, and love of Galway.


Describe yourself in three words

Motivated. Adventurous. Extroverted.


What is something our readers might not know about you?

I have many hobbies including fishing, hiking, and arts and crafts. One of my favourite hobbies is animal photography and I love to take pictures of all the animals I come across in the clinic.


What is your proudest accomplishment?

I am very lucky that I can say I have many accomplishments in my life, all of which I am very proud of. To date, one of my proudest accomplishments is graduating from veterinary medicine. This has always been my lifelong dream and, after many years of hard work, it has finally come true. It was an incredibly difficult journey with many ups and downs along the way – from having poor health due to my cystic fibrosis, to starting the new life-saving drug Kaftrio, which has completely transformed my life for the better. All while gaining a boyfriend, two dogs and moving country!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I find inspiration in many people, especially my parents, family and partner. They are always a daily inspiration to me. They are my pillars of strength. They are my guide and give me the courage to battle obstacles in life.


Tell us something you love about Galway

I love so many things about Galway, one being the amazing atmosphere and culture. I love walking down Shop Street and hearing the buskers and heading into a pub that has live music and entertainment. I also love the Wild Atlantic Way and visiting the Aran Islands – such a tranquil and beautiful place.


Sarah Pender is an ambassador for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland’s 65 Roses Day taking place on Friday 8th April. Please support by taking part in a 65 Roses Challenge, donating online at or purchasing a purple rose in participating Dunnes Stores, shopping centres and other outlets nationwide.