NKR-Sponsored Kidney Donor Athletes Plan to Complete 12 Marathons in 2023

GREENWICH, Conn., Feb. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The National Kidney Registry is excited to announce 1K12M (One Kidney, 12 Marathons)—a full-year challenge in which NKR-sponsored kidney donor athletes Matt Cavanaugh and Hilary Baude will participate in 12 marathons throughout 2023 all across the United States.

1K12M is Matt Cavanaugh’s latest attempt to shatter the misperception that kidney donation imposes physical limits on donors. In 2022, Matt became the first living kidney donor to finish the full 4 Deserts race series, which covered 1,000 kilometers across Namibia, Georgia, Chile, and Antarctica. He won the Last Desert/Antarctica leg and finished as the fastest American to ever race the 4 Deserts (with one kidney or two). 

“If running self-supported for 1,000 kilometers across the world’s worst deserts taught me one thing, it’s that one-kidney life has no limits,” said Cavanaugh. “I wanted a way to bring that message to more people, and what better way than a tour of 12 major marathons? By showing people that my one-kidney body is durable enough to run 12 marathons in a year, I can show them that they can save someone’s life and go on to live a bigger one themselves, as I have.”

“I decided to join Matt for this challenge because I wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to complete this challenge as an everyday person,” said Baude. “I began running nine years ago as a way to process my emotions after experiencing miscarriage, life-threatening medical complications with my oldest child, and my husband’s cancer diagnosis. While I consider Matt to be ‘superhuman,’ I wanted to show that a kindergarten teacher, wife, and 40-year-old mother of two can also be a kidney donor and meet the demands of this challenge. I hope to inspire other women, mothers, and athletes to consider living kidney donation, fight through obstacles and loss, and, above all, chase their dreams.”

First up is the 2023 Publix Atlanta Marathon, hosted by the Atlanta Track Club, which will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2023, in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. After the Atlanta race, Matt and Hilary plan to participate in events in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Denver, San Diego, San Francisco, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Washington, D.C., New York City, Philadelphia, and Honolulu.

For more information on the 1K12M challenge, visit the Donor Games website.

About Matt Cavanaugh

Matt Cavanaugh, PhD, is a retiring US military officer who serves as the President of the National Kidney Donor Organization. He twice earned the Bronze Star Medal, as well as the Combat Action Badge, for his service in Iraq. Matt donated his left kidney on September 15, 2021, to a stranger and started a donation chain.

About Hilary Baude

Hilary Baude is a kindergarten teacher who donated her kidney to a stranger in May of 2021 and is now an active member of the National Kidney Donation Organization. Hilary was an NCAA Division 1 swimmer and has run 13 marathons to date. She competed in her first Ironman in 2022, placing third in her age group.

About the National Kidney Registry

The National Kidney Registry is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save and improve the lives of people facing kidney failure by increasing the quality, speed, and number of living donor transplants while protecting all living donors.

Media Contact:
Michael Lollo


SOURCE National Kidney Registry