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Help Luke Kavenagh fundraise for the Immune Deficiency Foundation Australia

Luke Kavenagh

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Help Luke Kavenagh fundraise for the Immune Deficiency Foundation Australia


Hi there!

I'm trying to make a difference by running the Perth Marathon (held by the WA Marathon Club) for a cause that's close to my heart. I’d appreciate any contribution, big or small.

Donations made through this platform are secure and will be remitted directly through to my charity of choice, the Immune Deficiency Foundation Australia.

The Perth Marathon is held by the WA Marathon Club (WAMC) and will be on 17 October, a day before my birthday (so hopefully lots of birthday donations!).

I was diagnosed with immune deficiency at a very early age around 2, but it was quite clear to my Mum that I had being passed on some bad genetics and had the same condition as her, CVID. Which has only recently being confirmed as the AICDA gene - shout-out to Dr Lloyd D’Orsogna for pursuing this). I am very greatful for our support over the years from the team at PMH (Princess Margaret Hospital) under Dr Loh and the immunology team of Dr O’Sullivan at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

I am very fortunate that I have managed to keep a relatively balanced lifestyle with CVID compared with many who have a number of other associated illnesses and suffer regularly from fatigue and are constantly subject to infections week in week out.

There are a number of reasons I wanted to run a marathon. Firstly, to see if my body could handle the rigours of training for a marathon. Obviously 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.

Finally, the reason I decided to fundraise some money/provide exposure for IDFA was because I wish I had have known about this organisation from a young age. I think the members resource pack is such a brilliant resource for people at the early teen years to understand what they are going through. I found it difficult at times to probably understand why things were the way they were and whilst I cannot complain about our treatment, this information just provides you with more knowledge and understanding. In addition the seminars and webinars on how immune deficiency affects you are brilliant and the Facebook page provides a great community to connect with on the issues that are CVID related.

Thanks for your support!

Luke Kavenagh


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The Immune Deficiency Foundation of Australia Limited

The Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia (IDFA) is a not-for-profit registered charity who support and advocate for people suffering with Immune Deficiencies (IDs) throughout Australia. As the peak patient body we raise awareness about IDs in the medical and broader community and provide a range of information and resources for patients, their carers and families.

An Immune Deficiency is a disorder where the immune response (the body’s defence system) is reduced or absent. Primary Immune Deficiencies (PIDs) are caused by defects in the genes that control the immune system, so people with PID are born missing some or all of the parts of the immune system. Secondary Immune Deficiencies (SIDs) may be casued by treatment, transplantation, cancer or other diseases. IDs are not related to AIDS, which is caused by a viral infection (HIV). While not contagious, these diseases are caused by genetic defects and can affect anyone, regardless of age or sex. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises more than 200 immunodeficiency diseases.

There is no cure for the majority of IDs. IDs can be mild, severe and in some cases fatal. The main issue is increased susceptibility to infections affecting the sinuses, ears, lungs, bowel and skin. If not diagnosed early, these organs become permanently damaged. Even with treatment, the damage cannot be reversed. Many people with PID also have autoimmune conditions such arthritis, lupus and bowel disease.

PIDs include: Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID), Hypogammaglobulinaemia, Specific Antibody Deficiency (SAD), Hereditary Angioedema (HAE), Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD), X-Linked Agammaglobulinaemia (XLA), IgA deficiency, Hyper IgM Syndrome, Hyper IgE Syndrome, WHIM and Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID).

Treatments include Immunoglobulin replacement therapy (IVIg in hospital, SCIg at home), interferon gamma injections, antibiotics, steroids and in some PIDs, bone marrow transplant.

IDFA was formed in 2005 with support from the IDF/KIDS foundation of New Zealand, which was founded in 1987. IDFA is part of the Immune Deficiency Foundation Asia-Pacific Alliance and a member of IPOPI (International Patient Organisation for Primary Immunodeficiencies). IDFA has the support of leading Immunology health professionals both in Australia, New Zealand and Internationally.

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