Liver transplant recipient and donor friend run New York City Marathon together


For two friends, every step and every kilometer is a testament to the miracle of organ donation. A liver donor and her recipient are spreading the word by running the New York Marathon together.

Dave Kane was diagnosed with bile duct cancer in the liver over four years ago. “The diagnosis was pretty grim,” Dave said.

Dave’s friend Sara Kate Gillingham volunteered for tests and surgery and ultimately donated 60% of her liver.

“I don’t know. I just felt a call. I felt like I was in a really good position to do it,” said Sara Kate, the organ donor. “It’s really nice to be able to sit here and smile and laugh about it. But it was a very dark time.”

The couple survived this dark time and, to toast their recovery, Dave and Sara Kate run the 26.2 Mile New York Marathon to raise funds and raise awareness for the American Liver Foundation.

“Sara Kate saved my life,” Dave said. “That’s what’s great about this opportunity to run and to showcase, you know, the incredible bravery, generosity and love of Sara Kate and the opportunity to be a donor.”

As for Sara Kate, she says donating part of her liver gave her life meaning.

“It’s entirely possible to have a bigger impact on the world than you might think possible by doing this.”

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