Free Press Journal

30 liver transplant patients and donors are all set to run in Mumbai Marathon


Mumbai: More than 30 liver transplants patients and donors are all set to run Tata Mumbai Marathon morning which is going to held on January 21. The team will be led by a nephrologist and they will with an aim of spreading awareness and message that they are proud to be transplant patient, healthy and active.

Dr Anurag Shrimal, abdominal organ transplantation and hepato-pancreato-biliary surgeon, said a liver transplant is the only option for patients with advanced liver disease but more than 90 per cent of the population is unaware about organ donation.

There are many myths surrounded with this noble cause. But in reality, donors, apart from the first three months during which they are not supposed to lift more than 5kg, don’t have any restrictions on physical activity. “Patients, who lose muscle mass and strength due to liver diseases, are put on high protein diet and we encourage them to walk 45 minutes daily,” said Dr Shrimal.

All the participants will take part in the Dream Run (6.6km) category and have been practising for the past three weeks at Marine Drive. While five of them underwent surgeries in the past two years, rest of the surgeries were performed in 2017. The youngest runner is 18-year-old Atra Shaikh, a recipient from Aurangabad. While the oldest is Yogesh Mehta, 54, from Mumbai.

“We also have a recipient-donor couple, Sanjay and Kavita SIyani, who are specially coming from Rajkot to participate in the marathon. Granddaughter of former Gujarat CM Keshubhai Patel, Kavita is extremely active and went shopping, merely a week after donating a part of her liver to Sanjay last year,” Shrimal said.

The liver transplant patients will be joined by Shibani Gulati, who underwent kidney transplant in 2010 and has been participating in other marathons since 2012. If she completes the race, Gulati will be the first kidney transplant patient to successfully complete a 21km run in the history of Mumbai Marathon. “I urge all those with transplant surgeries to come out and join in organ donation camps. Running has changed my life completely, and I am thankful for a new life,” said Gulati.