Meet this year’s Operation Transformation leaders

Pic: David Cantwell

It’s January which means only one thing can cheer us up – Operation Transformation is back on our screen.

And thankfully we won’t have to wait too long.

The series is back this Wednesday, January 4th. And ahead of the first episode, we have met our Operation Transformation leaders.

Here’s who we’ll be spending the next few weeks with…

Stephanie Bowden

Stephanie Bowden Pic: David Cantwell

31-year-old Stephanie Bowden lives with her partner Brian and their two children, Jack and Aoife in Dublin.

She chose to join Operation Transformation to bring some sparkle to her life, she wants to believe in herself again, and help inspire others to do the same.

Stephanie loves sports, with soccer being her real passion. She coaches soccer in Crumlin United and holds a UEFA soccer coaching licence but she really wants to get back to playing like she used to.

Speaking about her decision to join the series, Stephanie said: “I can’t wait to start my journey on Operation Transformation 2023 because I’m looking forward to the adventure of learning all the skills to improve my overall well-being, but also an opportunity to experience what I feel life is about, community and connection as part of the process.”

Andrea Daly

Andrea Daly Pic: David Cantwell

38-year-old Andrea Daly lives in Co Laois with her husband Joe and their three children Alex, Ryan and Masey.

Their eldest son, Dylan, was born in 2005 with Cerebral Palsy. Following Dylan’s birth Andrea and Joe, who were in their early twenties became his full-time carers.

Sadly, in January 2019, at the age of 13 Dylan passed away. Following this tragic loss, Andrea wants to make a change in her life and go on an adventure of discovery – not only for herself but for her family too. She knows Dylan will be with her every step of the way.

Of the show, Andrea said: “My journey on Operation Transformation, I look forward to getting healthy and being happy in my own body. I feel this is my year and looking forward to the next eight weeks and seeing what the next months and year brings.”

Thomas Hynes

Thomas Hayes Pic: David Cantwell

50-year-old Thomas Hynes is from Co Longford and lives with his wife Eileen and their 11-year-old son Harry. Five years ago, Thomas suffered a heart attack. Thankfully following his rehab, he made a full recovery.

However, Thomas wants to introduce a sustainable routine into his health and well-being as he moves into the next stage of his life.

After he was forced to close down his dry-cleaning business, Thomas started his own pizza food truck business with his brother-in-law in their own town.

On why he wanted to join the show, Thomas said: “A risk to my heart is a risk to my health and getting a healthy lifestyle is my motivation to becoming an Operation Transformation Leader in 2023.”

Lorraine Dempsey

Lorraine Dunne Pic: David Cantwell

Primary school principal, Lorraine Dempsey lives in Co Wexford with her husband Anthony and their three children, Jack, Patrick and Katie.

She is set to turn 43 this month and she wants to focus on her own health and well-being. Lorraine wants to feel alive again on the inside and the outside.

Speaking about the show, Lorraine said: “2023 is the year where I’m looking forward to prioritising my health and well-being making time for myself. 2023 is where I find myself again and enjoy making healthy choices with my family.”

Marie Clear

Marie Clear Pic: David Cantwell

32-year-old Marie Clear lives with her mum Angela in Co Tipperary and works part-time as an SNA with children living with disabilities.

Marie was born with Achondroplasia and independence is extremely important to Marie. She wants expert guidance to start to make changes to her movement, exercise and nutrition. After watching 2022 Leader Stefano Sweetman give up smoking she is hopeful to kick the habit herself after she took up smoking at 14.

Marie said: “I am looking forward to starting my journey on Operation Transformation 2023 and very thankful for this opportunity. It will bring me where I need to be for the future as my independence is very important to me. I look forward to meeting so many new people on my journey and showing them if you put your mind to something, everything will fall into place. Trust in yourself and you can achieve anything.”

Operation Transformation airs Wednesday 4th January at 9:30pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.

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