Mumbai: For the first time in Tata Mumbai Marathon, a kidney recipient and it’s donor will participate and run to raise awareness about organ donations. ‘If we can do it, you can do it’, is the powerful message Shibani Gulati will be carrying with her brother, who will run this year’s Dream Run event. Both Varun and Shibani want to break the fears and the myths about the organ donation in India.
“Unless it doesn’t happen in our family, we are not bothered to know about it. The awareness about organ donation is very less in India and we need to spread the message forward so people are not afraid to gift life to someone in need. We need people to come and join the organ donation camps,” Shibani said.
“No trainer took me in their team. They were afraid that something could always go wrong. There were very few groups who supported my efforts to get fitter and healthier. A lot of trainers recommended that as the transplant was now done, it was time to take it easy. Take it easy and then what?” Shibani said in ambitious tone. Shibani said she was lucky to find support in her husband, brother and Dr. Jatin Kothari, and that’s what made her what she is today.
The 39-year-old Shibani has successfully crossed many finishing lines after her kidney transplant in 2010. She began with a 3km-run in 2012 and has also ran a Half Marathon of 21km in Mumbai. There is no bar high enough for Shibani as she is the only woman who has run 21km after a kidney transplant. This year too, she will be running Half Marathon and wishes to complete in 2.20 hrs. While Varun Malhotra, her 35-year-old brother, will participate in Dream Run of 6 km.
“Shibani has been relentless in her pursuit of fitness and spreading awareness, her grit and strong will has inspired me to participate in this year’s Dream Run event.” With hope and confidence that everything goes well, Varun said he was optimistic about running Half Marathon next year. After Marathon, Shibani will be representing India in World Transplant Games in Birmingham in August later this year.