November 17, 2021
After donating parts of her liver to a cancer patient at the brink of death, a New York City woman formed close ties with him. The duo got a chance to celebrate their bond at the annual New York City Marathon.
Years ago, Kate Gillingham and Dave Kane walked through a tumultuous path together to earn the latter a healthy life. This month, the pair are walking through a similar path, only this time a medal awaited them at the finish point, in addition to their sustained health.
The pair, who cemented their undying friendship following a liver transplant about four years ago, were glad to show off their connection to the world at the 50th New York City Marathon.
Notably, Kane and his lifesaver signed up to run the marathon alongside each other in an unusual celebration of life. Kane and Gillingham knew exactly what completing the race meant to the older man, who found it difficult to even walk unaided four years back. Gillingham explained:
“It’s really nice to be able to sit here and smile and laugh about it. But it was a very dark time.”
The unforgettable phase of their lives happened about four years ago when Kane was diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct in the liver.
Following the diagnosis, he was required to remove the affected parts of his liver and receive an urgent transplant from a compatible donor.
Gillingham, who was already a friend, stumbled upon the news on Facebook and immediately volunteered as a donor. She was deemed a good match and gave up 60% of her liver for Kane’s treatment.
Years down the line, the two have recovered completely from the life-saving transplant, regaining full use of the fast-regenerating organ.
The duo finally deemed themselves ready to share their story with the world and publicize the beautiful impact of organ donation. What better way to do so than flaunting their joint strengths at the annual marathon. Kane divulged:
“Sara kate saved my life. That’s what’s so great about this opportunity to run and to publicize, you know, t[...] the opportunity to be a donor.”
The woman’s good deeds have made her a celebrated icon among netizens, who have commended her good deeds. However, to Gillingham, the lessons her actions would imbibe in people was her ultimate prize. She explained:
“I guess it’s that it’s totally possible to make a bigger impact on the world than you think is possible by doing this. Digging deep in yourself to give something that’s very scary."
Admittedly, the gesture imparted her more than anyone else, as saving Kane’s life invariably added meaning to hers, giving her a purpose.
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