The India-United States Transplant Foundation, Inc.
On January 24, 2005 the State of Florida OK'd the incorporation of the India-United States Transplant Foundation.
I-USTF is a non-profit, charitable foundation dedicated to helping change and enhance Organ Transplants in India.
The idea for starting I-USTF came to me when our friends Dr. Mohan Thanikachalam and Dr. Shael Brachman, husband and wife, decided to leave the work they were doing in Miami and go back to India, Mohan's birthplace.
It was a lot of fun to be friends with Shael and Mohan in Miami. We shared a lot of interests as Mohan is a cardiac transplant surgeon and my husband, Dorai, is a retired professor of Biophysics in the Medical School at Buffalo. Dorai was also born in India, and has a thirteen year old transplanted heart.
My husband and I love to cook, and could always count on Shael and Mohan to join us for an Indian meal. We enjoyed the Indian community here in Miami. Mohan and Shael were even up to riding horses out in Broward on a sunny Sunday afternoon with our daughter Nani.
But more than anything, Dorai, Mohan, Shael and I talked about India... especially when it became clear that they were setting a course in their careers that would make working and living in India an important part of their lives.
During one of their trips to India, Mohan declared that he and several dedicated people in Chennai were ready to begin a Trust. The National Network for Organ Sharing was designed to provide a way to make great enhancements in the Indian Transplant environment.
Even before they left for India, it was obvious to us that we would have to someday work on transplant issues... in India.
There were nice summer days, when we sat and ate lunch together at U of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. I was substituting for the Executive Director of the Transplant Foundation while she was on vacation. Mohan was doing cardiac transplant and organ recoveries with Jackson and the V.A. Hospital. Shael was working in the Clinic at Jackson, where her fluent Spanish made her very comfortable with the poorer people of Miami who made use of the Clinic. We felt a strong connection to our deep personal connections to transplantation and India.
It was natural, that they would go back to India and Mohan would become Medical Director of NNOS.
I couldn't resist starting a Foundation to educate and charitably engage the huge Indian community in the United States with transplant issues in India.
We will begin in earnest in February when NNOS will host a Transplant Conference in Chennai.
I will be there.