SAN DIEGO — This weekend, thousands of runners will lace up their shoes for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon — but one runner has his sights on more than just the finish line.
Matt Cavanaugh says he’s taking strides to raise awareness for kidney donation. The retired U.S. military officer, who’s a kidney donor himself, has ran all across the world — from Antarctica to Chile — all after giving away one of his kidneys.
His next goal: bring this awareness to America’s Finest City by completing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon. His intent is to prove that kidney donors don’t have to compromise their own lives in order to save another.
“It’s been one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life and what found afterwards is that we only need one kidney to live a full and physical life,” said Cavanaugh. “That’s why I’m here in San Diego running the marathon, so people know that they can donate a kidney. They can save a life and they can go right back to doing the physical things that they love to do.”
Cavanaugh says that while thousands of people in San Diego die every year from kidney failure, “the cure is right inside of us.”
This will be Cavanaugh’s fifth marathon this year, which he says is part of a “One Kidney, 12 Marathons” series he’s aiming to complete. He’ll have a booth set up at the Health and Fitness expo in an effort to help people learn more about the kidney donation process.
The 2023 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon marks the 25th year of this much anticipated event, which kicks off Saturday with a 5K through Balboa Park.