Organ recipient now seeks to light a life

Staff Reporter
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Reena Raju, with a heart transplant, is encouraging cadaver donation

Reena Raju
Reena Raju

Her mission is to promote organ donation. She is working towards making organ transplantation a viable option for patients suffering from end-stage organ failure.

Meet Reena Raju, the first woman in Karnataka to have undergone a heart transplant.

Determined to encourage more people to donate organs and gift life to the needy, Ms. Raju is now using the entertainment media to promote her cause, through her organisation Reena Raju Foundation.

The foundation has now come out with a Kannada song written by award-winning lyricists to promote organ donation.

“The song is not just to entertain the listeners, but also to appeal to the public to donate organs. The three-minute Kannada song/video will be released on the social network YouTube on November 19, as I complete three years of life after heart transplant,” she says.

Written by Ragavendra Kamat, music for the song is composed by Raj Narayan and is sung by Ms. Raju.

“Through this initiative, we aim at increasing organ donation,” she says.

Ms. Raju, a graduate from Mount Carmel College, has set up “Light a Life - Reena Raju Foundation”, a charitable trust aimed at making organ transplantation a viable option for patients suffering from end-stage organ failure.

“We should not say that people are not coming forward to donate organs. It is only because of lack of awareness,” she says.

‘Way of life’

Ms. Raju says, “We only hear about pledging organs. Mere pledging and holding a donor card will not serve the purpose. The consent of the family of donor is needed to carry out the wishes of the donor. This is where we felt that we should do something. We want people to make organ donation as a way of life.”

Ms. Raju says, “When a person is declared ‘brain dead’, the family members can donate organs. It was such a donation that saved my life. My donor heart is still alive inside me.”


The objective of the foundation is to create nationwide awareness on cadaver donation and transplantation, to counsel patients/ patient families — pre and post-organ transplantation, and to provide expensive life-saving medicine to needy recipients.

“While many only promote organ donation, we know that organ donation alone is not enough. It requires patient care and support,” she says.

The foundation, under its patient power programme, has taken steps for gifting free medicine to needy recipients.

“We have seen many patients die without medicines. We are now providing medicines to a kidney recipient from Kunigal. We can help more people if there is contribution from the corporate communities, clubs and individuals,” she says.

The patient power programme includes counselling pre/post transplant patients and offering crucial survival techniques to organ recipients.

'“We have started a recipient club where patients can share best practices and their experience and challenges with one another and the public,” she says.

Ms. Raju says that the foundation is not involved in the procurement or coordination of organs for transplantation or coordination. It is done by an authorised government body.

Ms. Raju can be reached onreenalightalife@gmail.comor log on

  • The video will be launched on YouTube today

  • Foundation is providing free medicine to needy

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