Wednesday, November 1, 2023



In a stunning testament to human resilience and unwavering determination, Monika Srivastava, a kidney donor living with a single kidney, achieved a triumphant feat by successfully completing the Ironman 70.3 event held in Turkey in October 2023.

Monika's story is one of selflessness and unwavering commitment. Just a few years ago, she selflessly donated a kidney to save a life and embarked on a challenging recovery period. Although her post-operative phase took approximately four weeks, she didn't require any long-term medication. Regular kidney function checks were the only reminder of her altruistic act.

Monika's passion for running was the foundation of her incredible journey. She had already made a name for herself in the running community with impressive half-marathon times. However, the prospect of conquering the Ironman 70.3, a grueling triathlon event that combines swimming 1.9km, cycling 90km, and running 21.1km, was a monumental challenge. The Ironman 70.3 was a whole new beast to tame.

Her journey was beset with difficulties from the start. Swimming, a discipline she had limited experience with, presented a daunting hurdle. Cycling, too, wasn't initially comfortable for her. But Monika's unwavering spirit, coupled with her burning desire to embrace new challenges, pushed her forward.

Balancing a demanding job, family responsibilities, and caring for her husband and children, including cooking and ensuring their studies, Monika incredibly found two hours each day for training. Her dedication and tenacity paid off, as she crossed the finish line of the Ironman 70.3, comprising a 1.9km swim, 90km bike ride, and a 21.1km run, non-stop, in a commendable 8 hours and 19 minutes, making her country and people proud.

Monika Srivastava exemplifies the power of the human spirit and the boundless potential within us. Her remarkable journey serves as an inspiring reminder that, with determination and perseverance, individuals can surmount any obstacle, regardless of their circumstances. Her story is evidence to courage, resilience, and the capacity to live life to the fullest, all while proudly carrying the banner of an organ donor.

Monika wishes to debunk a few myths about living kidney donors.

Myth 1: A living donor can no longer do sports.

Reality: “I’ve been doing training in endurance sports for quite a while now. And I only started after my donation,” says living kidney donor Monika Srivastava. “I’m able to keep up with everyone that I train with. My donation hasn’t stopped me.”

Myth 2: A living kidney donor should not get pregnant after donation.

Reality: “I had one more child after my donation,” says Monika. “And I didn’t have any complications during my pregnancy. I had a healthy, full-term pregnancy.”

She’s happy to report that she is also living her best life. “In terms of my own quality of life, it has not changed. My checkups are perfect,” she says. “I wouldn’t have gone through with it if it meant I couldn’t do the things that I love.”

Monika goes on with saying, “Do not let misinformation prevent you from giving the gift of life”.

Are you considering becoming a living kidney donor but are concerned about what you may have heard or read? Monika has some advice for you: “Stay open minded, be curious, ask questions, there are things people have told us, and a lot of them are myths. Talk to your doctors, they will surely clear your doubts for you.”

Authored by - Dr.Ashwinikumar Aiyangar, Nephrologist & Transplant Physician, IRONMAN 140.6 triathlon finisher, fitness enthusiast.

akashwin@gmail to get in touch with the author 


Thursday, August 17, 2023

ORGAN DONORS' DAY: Celebrating a Gift of Life, Paying Tribute to Selfless Heroes

Every year, on the 13th of August we celebrate Organ Donors Day, a poignant occasion to honour those who have bestowed the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. This day serves as a reminder of the profound impact that organ transplantation has on patients grappling with organ failure, giving them a renewed lease on life and a chance to embrace a future full of possibilities. 

The Significance of Organ Transplants 

Organ transplants are nothing short of medical marvels that have revolutionised the field of medicine. Organ transplantation stands as a beacon of hope for individuals facing the daunting challenges of liver failure, kidney failure, and heart failure. These conditions not only diminish the quality of life but also pose a real threat to survival. Organ transplantation emerges as a lifeline for such patients, offering a second chance to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. A successful transplant not only rejuvenates the recipient but also instils a sense of gratitude that lasts a lifetime. 

The importance of various types of organ transplantation cannot be overstated. Kidney transplantation frees patients from the shackles of dialysis, enabling them to regain their vitality and productivity. Heart transplantation breathes new life into those whose hearts once beat with uncertainty, allowing them to cherish moments they thought they might never experience again. Liver transplantation rescues patients from the clutches of liver failure, offering them a fresh start and renewed hope. These procedures can mean the difference between life and death, restoring not just physical health but also providing a renewed sense of purpose and vitality to recipients. The success of these transplantations is a testament to the collaborative efforts of medical professionals, donors, and their families. 

Bone Marrow and Pancreas Transplants 

Organ Donors' Day is also a moment to acknowledge the lesser-known heroes who make bone marrow and pancreas transplants possible. Bone marrow transplantation offers renewed hope to patients fighting blood disorders like leukaemia and lymphoma, potentially curing them and enabling them to lead fulfilling lives. 

Pancreas transplantation is a beacon of hope for individuals with type 1 diabetes who face life-long challenges. A successful pancreas transplant can free them from the shackles of insulin injections, bringing about a significant improvement in their quality of life. 

A New lease Of Life in Corneal Blindness 

The significance of eye donation and corneal transplants cannot be overstated, as they bestow the gift of sight upon those who once lived in a world shrouded in darkness. This extraordinary act not only restores vision but also rekindles hope, independence, and the ability to appreciate life's beauty in its full spectrum. For those who once relied on others for simple tasks, such as navigating their surroundings or performing daily activities, regaining sight means regaining autonomy. This newfound independence fosters a sense of empowerment, enabling individuals to actively engage with the world and contribute to their communities. 

Living and Deceased Organ Donors: Two Sides of a Noble Coin 

Organ donors come in two forms - living and deceased. Both kinds exemplify the true spirit of altruism. This day offers an opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to both living and deceased organ donors.  

Living donors exhibit unparalleled courage and altruism, willingly offering a part of themselves to save another's life. Their heroic act of selflessness not only transforms the life of the recipient but serves as an inspiration to all and demonstrates the power of compassion and love.  

Deceased organ donors, on the other hand, leave behind an enduring legacy by giving the ultimate gift after their passing. Their families' decision to honour their wishes becomes a source of light for patients desperately awaiting a second chance at life. Their families deserve our utmost respect and admiration for their decision to bestow the gift of life upon others during moments of immense grief. 


The Noble Act of Blood Donation


While we commemorate organ donors, it is important to recognise that organ donation goes beyond organs alone. Blood donation, a vital aspect of this cause, deserves equal applause. Blood transfusions save countless lives each day, serving as a lifeline in emergencies, surgeries, and medical treatments. 

Deterring Paid Organ Donation and Legal Complexities


As we celebrate the selflessness of organ donors, we must unequivocally discourage the practice of paid organ donation. Organ transplantation should always stem from the spirit of humanity and altruism, rather than financial transactions. Paid organ donation not only exploits the vulnerable but also raises ethical concerns. 

Furthermore, legal hurdles often cloud the path of organ donation. It is crucial for nations to have robust legal frameworks in place to ensure a transparent, safe, and ethical process. Protecting the rights of both donors and recipients is imperative to maintain the integrity of the organ transplantation process. Moreover, the legal aspects surrounding organ donation must be navigated with care and clarity. Ensuring that proper legal frameworks are in place helps protect both donors and recipients, guaranteeing that the gift of life is administered transparently and ethically. 


Organ Donors Day stands as a testament to the boundless compassion and empathy that exist within our society. It serves as a reminder that each of us has the power to make a difference, to give the gift of life, and to uplift humanity through acts of selflessness. As a nephrologist, I am humbled by the dedication, benevolence, generosity and sacrifice exhibited by organ donors and their families. Their legacy lives on through the lives they save, and their impact reverberates through the corridors of hospitals and the hearts of grateful patients. 

On this Organ Donors Day, let us join hands to celebrate these unsung heroes, pledge our commitment to ethical organ donation practices, eradicating myths, upholding the noble spirit of organ donation and continue spreading awareness about the transformative power of organ transplantation. Together, we can create a world where the gift of life is cherished, protected, and shared for the betterment of all.