Following the birth of her son, Amy Dawson went through kidney failure resulting in the need to undergo dialysis for almost two years. In July 2020, Amy received a call from Westmead Hospital that would change her life. The very same day, Amy was on an aeroplane from Brisbane to Sydney and underwent emergency surgery to receive a kidney and pancreas transplant.
Whilst Amy’s husband, Connor, was able to be with her for the 6-weeks of recovery time in hospital, Amy’s son Quinlyn was only able to visit once due to the changing COVID-19 situation. Thankfully, the transplant was a success, and Amy’s life has been transformed and saved.
The 4x4x48 Challenge
Whilst Connor was Sydney-based – with Amy recovering in a hospital bed and his son in another part of Australia – he ran lap after lap of Parramatta Park.
Connor’s newfound love of running gave him an idea – to do the 4x4x48 David Goggins challenge – consisting of running 4 miles (6.5km) on the hour every four hours, for a total of 48 hours.
That’s 4 miles, 12 times. Over a 48 hour period.
So 48 miles in total (or 77 kilometers).
In other words, ultra-running!
Connor is undertaking this monumental challenge to raise as much organ transplant awareness and donations as possible. His story will help show what families go through when receiving a transplant, what an amazing gift people give when they donate organs, and the incredible work the medical teams do. For all parties involved in the process, they can go through immense stress, fear, happiness, pain, torment, and unbelievable regret also.
Connor plans to conduct his challenge on the Gold Coast later in 2021 and is encouraging people to join him or just meet for a chat. Connor would like to talk to any individual and/or any company that is able to get behind him and show support or even promote through their networks. In return, company sponsor details will be shown at the run start and finish line, in photos and videos posted online.
Connor’s dream is to spread awareness as far and wide as possible, and the Gift of Life Foundation is fully behind him. The aim of this event is to encourage more people to sign up to become organ donors.
Register to become a donor
National organ donation and transplant data for 2020, released by the federal Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority, Mark Coulton, shows while Australia’s donation rate has doubled over the past decade, the national program took a hit in 2020 due to COVID-19.
The data reports that 2020 saw a 12% decrease in the number of people receiving a transplant and a 16% decrease in the number of donors compared to 2019. These decreases are due to the impact of COVID-19, prompting calls for more people to register as a donor.
Joining the Australian Organ Donor Register can change the lives of people who receive transplants – and their families. Joining the Register also helps to reassure your family of your wishes. Otherwise, they will have to be consulted about your donor wishes before any donation for transplantation can occur.
Please join the Australian Organ Donor Register today.