Running with Don – taking on the Ireland Way for Organ Donor Week.

Running with Don – taking on the Ireland Way for Organ Donor Week.

When we heard about Don Hannon’s goal to run from the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim to Castletownbere, Co Cork during Organ Donor Awareness week, we knew we had to get involved. As a startup, we were looking not only to make our mark in terms of brand awareness but also to get market validation and the best way to do that was by having athletes facing serious challenges trial our product. Don not only ticked the boxes above, but he was running with a lot of heart for a very special reason that we wanted to help him commemorate.

Barely 2 years earlier, Don had donated half of his liver to his sister, Therese. She had a rare disease called primary biliary cirrhosis which is a type of liver disease caused by damage to the bile ducts in the liver. Much like other forms of liver disease, PBC permanently damages the liver as tissue is replaced with scar tissue (fibrosis). As more scar tissue develops, the structure and function of the liver are affected. The exact cause of PBC is unknown. But it may be related to a problem with the immune system, which is the body's natural defense system. Don recalls when asked “it took me a millisecond to decide!”

He undertook the run through woodland, farmland, bog land and seven mountain ranges along The Ireland Way to raise organ donor awareness. Don is believed to be the first man to run the full distance of The Ireland Way. The toll that this type of challenge brings to maintaining healthy skin and muscle is obvious and when it came to feedback, the results were clear “I found that using Qilta helped a lot on the road to recovery to help me face another day on the trail,” says Don, “I was lucky to avoid the usual blistering this time around and even a physio that I visited mid way through the race commented on the great condition of my feet and legs, considering!”

Stay tuned for more updates about Qilta and our road to launching at this year’s SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon!


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