A Skerries baker has matched a gruelling challenge first undertaken by a retired US Navy Seal to raise funds and awareness for the Irish Kidney Association (IKA).
Cian Carty Heffernan, 24, was motivated to emulate the feat of David Goggins by both his father and a close school pal’s arduous health journeys towards kidney and lung transplants.
DCU graduate Cian and his older brother Pearce, a pastry chef, completed their 4x4x48 challenge – running four miles every four hours totalling 48 miles in 48 hours, on Sunday August 30.
As a boy Cian saw his dad Peter Heffernan endure kidney failure and his pal Jack struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. Both are now enjoying renewed life as a result of organ transplants.
After completing the challenge, which has so far raised over €3,000, he said: “It was tough and more mentally challenging than physical.
“I found the night runs the hardest and getting up and starting all over again every four hours was hard but I was lucky to have lots of support and on each and every run I had someone running alongside me at my pace.”
He added: “From being a kid when my dad was on dialysis and he did not have the energy to kick a ball, and fast-forward to him winning medals at the Transplant Games, showed me how important your health is.
“I was only 10 or 11 years old when my father started to become unwell but one of the ways my brother and myself felt we could help was by setting up his home dialysis machine and ensuring that everything was safe and sterile for his daily treatment.
“This routine continued into my mid-teens until he finally got called for a kidney transplant nine years ago. Our family is hugely grateful to the donor family for this life-giving gift.”
IKA has had to cancel several of its major fundraising and organ donor awareness events this year due to the pandemic.
In May Cian and Pearce established The Rock Bakery, a delivery business which operates out of the kitchen of the Potager restaurant in Skerries.
The brothers have also pledged to donate delivery charges for their customer freshly baked orders to the fundraiser.
To support see the GoFundMe page here.