Perth’s Luke Kavenagh Runs for the Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia
Published on: 22 October 2021

Perth’s Luke Kavenagh Runs for the Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia

Oct 22, 2021 | News

Perth local, 24-year-old Luke Kavenagh ran for a cause at the Perth Marathon over the weekend, raising close to $2,000 for the Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia (IDFA). Despite living with an immunodeficiency, Luke was able to complete his first marathon with an impressive time of 3 hours 37 minutes.

Having been diagnosed with CVID, a primary immunodeficiency (PI), at the early age of two, Luke has received treatment and support from the Princess Margaret Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital over the years. Luke has been fortunate in being able to keep a relatively balanced lifestyle with CVID compared with many who also have other associated illnesses, suffer regularly from fatigue and are constantly subject to infections.

“PI’s are caused by defects in the immune system leaving patients extremely susceptible to infections. Patients face a variety of challenges, suffer from multiple co-morbidities and many require complex medical management. It affects every aspect of a person’s life, having an impact on physical ability, mental health, work, relationships, finances and overall well-being’’ said IDFA CEO Carolyn Dews. 

Luke explained his reasons for running a marathon “Firstly, to see if my body could handle the rigours of training for a marathon. With CVID there is a good chance of picking up an infection from being run down or overdoing it. Fortunately, I am yet to have an infection. Secondly, I recently ran a half-marathon and thought I may as well try a marathon and raise some money for a cause close to my family and I. Thirdly, to hopefully provide some inspiration to other who have PID’s that want to get more active, as there is definitely a correlation between having a healthier lifestyle and less infections.’’

On completion of the marathon, Luke said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my first marathon and was flying with the support of friends and family along the Swan River. I felt comfortable and thought I may exceed my expectations and come close to a three hour marathon. Unfortunately “the wall” hit me with about 8km to go and my race melted away. Regardless, I hope my story sparks some belief in someone a little younger than me that wants to embark on a new adventure, challenge or goal.”

In looking to the future, Luke is looking forward to some recovery before hockey preseason. He’s also contemplating his next endurance challenge: ‘’A sub three hour marathon or overcoming a fear and completing the infamous ‘Rotto swim’ are definitely attractive, especially with the added incentive of raising further money and awareness for IDFA.’’

Carolyn Dews, Executive Officer at IDFA said “We are incredibly grateful to Luke for raising funds and awareness for the IDFA. Luke is an inspiration to our members, showing them what’s possible when you lead a healthy, active lifestyle. The funds that Luke has raised will help IDFA improve the lives of Australians affected by primary and secondary immunodeficiency.”

Luke is continuing to accept donations for the IDFA through the Go Fundraise website. Donate here.