Bay of Plenty woman Katie Hodge is embarking on a grueling 243km multisport race to commemorate 30 years since her life-saving liver transplant. Hodge, who was born with a liver condition called biliary atresia, underwent the transplant when she was just one year old. Now healthy and active, she sees the race as an opportunity to celebrate her journey and raise funds for the Starship Children’s Hospital. The race, known as the Coast to Coast, involves running, biking, and kayaking, spanning from the South Island’s west to east coast.
Hodge’s health struggles continued throughout her childhood, with frequent hospital visits and a second surgery for bile duct reconstruction in 2008. Despite the challenges, she remained determined and eventually recovered, allowing her to live life to the fullest. An avid hiker, biker, and kayaker, Hodge has spent the past decade traveling and working around the world. The Coast to Coast race, which takes participants through the Southern Alps and ends at Brighton Beach in Christchurch, is a fitting way for her to showcase her resilience and passion for adventure. Hodge’s mother and brother will provide logistical support during the race, and she is also raising money for Starship Hospital as a gesture of gratitude for their care during her childhood.