Anil Srivatsa, All Geared Up To Set Records With Drive The World: The Worlds Longst On-Road Expedition To Spread Awareness About Organ Donation
North Brunswick, NJ. January 04, 2020: the Million Donor Project will hit the road in the fifth series of the Gift of Life Adventure (GOLA). This time, the road to organ donation awareness will take Anil Srivatsa to every nook and corner of North and South America (over 55,000 kilometres over the span of three months).
The route covers not only major cities, but also takes team GOLA through back roads into the heart of 15 nations in the two continents.
The Journey of a Kidney Donor, Anil Srivatsa who went through emotional upheavals and the subsequent making of a champion for the cause of Organ Donation. He donated his kidney 5 years ago and is now driving around the world in his own car to tell his story on how he became an accomplished athlete after donating his kidney as a world record holder in the World Transplant Games 2019 held in Newcastle, UK
He will address the following points during the course of telling his story:
– How he dealt with all the fears associated with organ donation
– His journey through the legal and procedural issues that plagues Organ Donation around the world
– Speaking about concerns that only first-hand interactions with a live donor can help address.
– what it takes to truly become an organ donor by throwing light on what happens after you sign up.
– He deals with religious and superstitious myths that surround Organ Donation and busting them would help save lives.
– Life saving and life giving Information that no one has told you about.
He has a wealth of stories as he accumulates and shares his experiences having driven through 43 countries. Driven over 100K kms taking over 400 days of being on the road and sharing his story with over 74000 people through over 250 plus talks in schools, colleges, Rotary Clubs, Community centres and companies.
He is currently driving from New Jersey to Alaska across Canada to Argentina and back to New York adding another 55000 kms over the next 150 days. He is passing by our community and we would love for you to interact with Anil. He is a great story teller and you don’t want to miss it.
A fully crowd funded effort the Gift of Life Adventure Foundation’s drive around the world is literally fuelled and fed by tax deductable contributions made via facebook, GoFund me and other means of charitable contributions including venmo, paypal and more.
TeamGOLA consists of Anil Srivatsa and his wife Deepali Srivatsa, both American’s living in North Brunswick NJ where they are now working to grow their 501 (c) (3) Non Profit Organization Gift of Life Adventure Foundation Inc.
About Anil: http://about.me/anilsrivatsa
GOLA Adventure before this included
GOLA 1: A week long cycling expedition in Spain 6 months post surgery to show that an organ donor and recipient can lead an active and healthy lifestyle
GOLA 2: A cross continental on-road expedition from India to Scotland to spread awareness about organ donation
GOLA 3: Drive from Italy to Oman to help the kick start the Million Donor Project
GOLA 4: Drive around India for 5 months spanning 27000 kms
The Gift of Life Foundation
The Gift of Life Foundation is a registered NGO/NPO in USA and India that was founded in June 2017 by Anil Srivatsa. The GOLA Foundation serves in the field of medical, health, education and allied activities; identifying life changing events in the lives of qualified individuals (predominantly women and children) or communities and fund the various interventions to ensure long term and short term positive outcomes for them. The events that fall in the realm of the said Trust include Organ transplants, Lifesaving Medical procedures, Education, Mental health, Civic health and housing, Disaster and refugee relief, Domestic violence rehab, Women and Child sexual abuse intervention and rehab, Long term medical care, Govt. Policy advocacy, public education and awareness
THE BACK STORY
Sept 5 2014 changed my life when I donated my kidney to my brother. I realized the value of this donation and how this changed his life where he now in turn saves lives every day as a doctor. I found that people were afraid to donate. This fear came from ignorance. As a member of the journalist/media fraternity, I made it my mission to tackle this ignorance so more people would come out and give the valuable gift of an organ after their life time if not during it.
I had to become an example to other donors and inspire them to explore the idea of gifting a life. I had to pick an activity that attracted the attention of the people I pass and the media, who would give me the exposure and platform to spread my message. I picked overland driving as this was the most effective way of touching peoples lives and them mine. Thus the gift of life adventure was born.
I undertook my first adventure when I took my brother on a 7 day cycling adventure in the hills of Spain just 6 months after the transplant to show that life can be back to ordinary if not extraordinary. The press showed up and helped. The awareness was beginning. I was becoming a part of the voice that was growing louder together.
I got drawn into my mission even deeper when I decided to drive with my family (Organ donation is a family decision and mine played an inspiring part in my decision) on a road trip from Bangalore India, to Scotland UK. A 74 day journey where along the way we met and spoke to may organizations and people about the mission. I used my personal funds by selling off the one apartment I had so I can earn the trust of all and their support. This journey gave me a sense that awareness has to translate to action and after a pivotal meeting with an organization we met in Norway the Million Donor Project was born.
The million donor project is all about the family. Traditionally in India and many parts of the world, organ donors would register with an organization and did not speak to their families about it and when time came, the families did not make good the donation from lack of knowing. I decided to address this part of the process and designed an app that captures the intent and communicates it to the family via an SMS thereby starting a conversation at home. It is considered bad luck to speak about death in most homes. If the family knows, there is no need for signing up with ANY organization and the donation rate would be higher with the family behind it. The app is found at http://www.giftoflifeadventure.com/signup
To promote the Million Donor project, I drove again from Italy to Dubai which took 2 months across 20 nations, with speaking engagements at various rotary clubs for their support within their communities.
How the Foundation was Born
3 months ago I was approached by an acquaintance I met during the road trip to Scotland and sought my help to help his 17 year of Brother-in-Law navigate the Organ transplant process in India so he can have his kidney transplant. Malik and his brothers flew in from a small impoverished town in Afghanistan and in the watchful care of the Gift of Life Adventure Foundation (an NGO, non -profit) that I set up post the ordeal I went through for them only . I realized the laws in India need to be more user friendly and I could not do so as an individual. If the Afghan Brothers went through this, every India goes through this. Something had to change. I have rallied the support of the media, the hospitals and the now appointed lawyer to help me move the needle on the law and for this I need more funding than I can personally afford. This is a major project that is being built bit by bit until the bigger funding agencies can kick in. I want your help in getting me there for this module. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVl5zxhuukI&…