A brief story about me and the journey to how I got here – and why I am on a mission to make a difference for living organ donors. The impact and the sacrifice they made must not be forgotten and honored for life.
I am Krish Arvapally, a 37 yr old serial tech entrepreneur now based in Austin, Texas in USA. Originally from India and moved around quite a bit with my family between Singapore, New Jersey, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Co-Founded several startups in the media & entertainment space and love following my passion in anything I do. I’ve always done things that are disruptive and always found myself early to adopt emerging tech. My newest startup is in the blockchain and crypto space called Replay that aims to disrupt content tracking & payments during distribution of video to OTT.
So What Happened?!
When I was 25 – during a routine life insurance exam, I found that my kidney function was quite low and was gradually declining. It was quite a shock when I heard it and I didn’t really believe it for some time since I felt pretty healthy and energetic. I remember doing routine medical tests as I was younger and there weren’t any abnormalities at that time. It was definitely hard to believe. However overtime, I had to embrace the facts and really started changing my lifestyle to help prolong the life of my kidney. I was basically on a No alcohol, low salt, low protein, low potassium/phosphorus foods diet and of-course stuck to a daily regime of walks/runs along with some blood pressure related meds. However, undergoing a kidney transplant was inevitable.
Thank the Universe!
I thank the universe that I was blessed with an absolutely amazing family. Everyone that was close to me stepped up and offered to get tested to see if their kidneys were a match. My parents, brothers, cousins, relatives, even a few close friends. They all kept tabs on me through the years and with their support and good vibes – I was able to extend my kidney life for many years.
After over 12+ years – the day had come – July 28th 2021. My brother, Sanketh Arvapally, (left) graciously donated his kidney to me and gave me a new life – a second life. Both my brother and I are doing spectacular. And we are both closer than ever now.
I have 2 brothers – my elder, Sanketh and my younger, Akshay. I am the middle one. We were like any siblings, focused on what we wanted selfishly, met up at festivals/special events and fought when we had differences. Overtime we even drifted apart for a bit as we had different lives.
When he first heard news about my health, he cried. He couldn’t believe it either. And was sincerely saddened by it. He immediately thought how he can help and how the family can come together and help.
Deep down we brothers knew we still loved each other. And we knew we’d do anything to help each other when in need ! And when the decision came to donate his kidney – he didn’t hesitate at all. Of course he had to make appropriate plans on his personal side with kids to make it all work – which is totally understandable. And it all worked out 🙂
It’s been 6 months+ post transplant and I’ve noticed something interesting. My brother and I got busy with work and our usual lives. However even though I know what my brother did and my family knows what my brother did for me.
The fact that he graciously donated his kidney to me while expecting nothing but good wishes for me – is truly remarkable.I still feel like the whole world deserves to know his story and be recognized for his heroic act.
I’ve been thinking about what I can do to make a difference. How I can amplify what he did. And how he should be looked at as a real-world HERO.
And then I started thinking – as my entrepreneurial mind gets to work – there are other heroes like my brother. There has to be a platform that can elevate and recognize their heroic deeds.
When do we classify someone as a Hero? Not someone with a cape, or someone with special powers and fights evil at nights.
Obviously there are soldiers, military, war heroes, veterans, doctors, etc.. No doubt they are heroes. We honor them and forever indebted for their effort.
But what about a living organ donor? A donor who is standing up to save someone life and giving the gift of life…how do we honor them? They sacrificed and took a step to save someones life…shouldn’t they be honored? Shouldn’t they get the same respect as other heroes? In my opinion – it’s someone like my brother that saves another life without any conditions- >>> Is a Hero as well. They truly deserve a special attention as they made a difference in someones life.
Today it’s common to see Military personnel, Senior citizens, Veterans getting special benefits at several locations. Whether it be discounts on something or priority access to a flight. It’s also an amazing awareness tool. But what about folks like my brother – who are also Heroes? The organ donors. They need that awareness too.
I want to make a difference.
I can see a world where Heroes should be able to walk into a restaurant or a store or board a flight and be eligible for ‘special’ something. I think they deserve to be recognized everywhere and forever for their good deeds! So no one will ever forget what they have done. And this creates an awesome awareness effect about organ donation and leading others to volunteer and do the same to their loved one.
So that got me thinking…
Since I have a vested interest in the world of web3 / blockchain / NFT professionally – I think there is a really fascinating solution to make this work! And I really want to implement it.
And I am calling all those folks that received an organ transplant from a living donor or anyone that experienced this in their family or friends circle – join me to execute this initiative! I think together we can make a large impact on donor awareness and show our lifetime appreciation towards our donors! Our heroes!
In United States – as of March 18th 2022, Number of men, women, and children on the national transplant waiting list waiting for an organ – 106,248
I want to make a difference.
Table below shows number of living donors who came forward:
|Year||# of living donors in US|
The 2nd column shows the number of heroes in this country living a normal life after their donation.
IF ONLY – that many LIVING donors can come forward. Then our mission is a success.