Our beloved Prabhakar Somavarapu was born with a genetic disorder called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). Because he needs a transplant by the end of 2022, we are urgently seeking a kidney donor. Can you help?

About Prabhakar


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As someone who has dedicated his life to helping others, Prabhakar is not used to asking for or receiving help. But a team of friends convinced him to share his need publicly. They know Prabhakar as a caring son, attentive father, devoted husband, dog lover, selfless friend, community volunteer, and public servant.

Last year, Prabhakar stood faithfully by his wife, Rupa, supporting her every step of the way as she triumphantly fought cancer. Passionate about investing in his community, Prabhakar has volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America, coached FLL Robotics, volunteered for FTC Robotics Tournaments, served at local charities and homeless shelters, and supported BreakFree, a nonprofit that combats human trafficking. He currently sits on the PRSTY Foundation board. He regularly donates to many causes, including the Bradshaw County Animal Shelter.

Prabhakar adopted his dogs, Poppy and Maggi, from that very shelter and loves them like family.


Prabhakar retired in September 2021 from an engineering career of 32 years. He spent 30 of those years serving the public, becoming a regional leader for the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District. For the last eight and a half years, he held the title of General Manager for the Districts, overseeing 800 staff members and answering to a 17-member board consisting of county supervisors and city council members. As General Manager, Prabhakar was responsible for preparing the sewer area for improvements, such as introducing advanced wastewater treatments as well as new recycling programs to reduce costs. He turned Sacramento County into one of most efficient, environmentally-sound districts in the region, serving over 1.6 million residents.

To honor Prabhakar upon his retirement, the board of directors pitched in their own funds to buy an ultrasound machine for the Bradshaw Animal Shelter, knowing Prabhakar’s compassion for shelter dogs.

In September 2021, Prabhakar was featured in a short video, entitled “How One of California’s Largest Wastewater Utilities’ Vision Evolved from Inward to Outward.” You can watch it here.

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Twenty years ago, Prabhakar was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), a progressive genetic disease that reduces kidney function to the point of failure. When cysts form on a kidney, the organ swells. These cysts gradually replace healthy tissue, incapacitating the kidney so it can no longer filter waste from the bloodstream. Eventually, people with PKD require either lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant. There is currently no cure for PKD.

Because his kidney function has deteriorated to near-failure, Prabhakar urgently needs a transplant. The wait for a deceased donor averages 4 to 9 years—and nearly 100,000 people are on the waitlist.


Prabhakar, age 57, needs a kidney transplant by the end of 2022. This shrinking window of time means he needs a living donor. With each passing day, Prabhakar’s kidney function decreases, propelling him toward dialysis. Dialysis is a physically demanding procedure that often jeopardizes patients’ opportunity for a transplant —the optimal treatment. (See Dialysis to learn more about this last resort.)

Because the donor qualification process can take 5 to 6 months, Prabhakar must find a living donor now. Unfortunately, no pending treatments (such as those using artificial or animal kidneys) will be available in time for Prabhakar.


Although dialysis prevents the buildup of toxins in the bloodstream, the treatment is physically demanding and risks serious repercussions: (1) Because transplant candidates must be robust enough for major surgery, any problems caused by dialysis can disqualify them from the waitlist. Dialysis can wreak havoc on the heart, arteries, teeth, circadian rhythm, bones, blood pressure, immune system, and more—it can even lead to death; (2) The adverse effects of dialysis can compromise transplant success.


Several of Prabhakar’s family members volunteered to donate a kidney, but all were deemed ineligible. Their mission now is to find a donor who does qualify. By helping with their search—or by becoming a donor yourself—you will offer Prabhakar the gift of life.

As you consider this plea, please share Prabhakar’s need through any means possible: word of mouth, social media, email, local news, and so on. The more people who know, the greater Prabhakar’s chance of finding a living kidney donor.

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Donor Process & Qualification

Prabhakar’s health insurance will cover donor evaluations, procedures, and hospital stays at many transplant centers in California (where Prabhakar lives) and across the US. Transplant centers ensure that donors safely match organ recipients, disqualifying donors at medical risk. They also accommodate donors’ work schedules and other related needs.

Donor surgery has become remarkably noninvasive, the traditional open surgery often replaced by a laparoscopy. Hospital recovery time lasts only a day or two for donors. The donor must be from 18 to 65 years old and can remain anonymous. There is no need for the donor to live near Sacramento, to be a family member, or to match Prabhakar’s blood type (thanks to kidney exchange programs).

Prabhakar is registered at the UC Davis Transplant Center. To be considered for his match, please fill out the donor questionnaire. Make sure to include Prabhakar’s name and birthday on the form. You may also call or email the Living Donor Coordinator with any questions at (916) 734-1268 or sjbaroni@ucdavis.edu.

How to Help

Please tell Prabhakar’s story wherever possible by sharing the website, Facebook page, and 2-minute video. Together we can make a difference.

How to help

More Information

For more information on living donation, click here. You can also call the UC Davis Transplant Center directly at (916) 734-2307.

To talk with a kidney donor, please contact Kala Kowtha (friend of Rupa and Prabhakar’s) at (916) 812-0460 or email her at kalakowtha@gmail.com. As a donor who saved a life 23 years ago, she is happy to address any questions or concerns you might have.

To read a heartwarming donor story, click here. You can find similar donation stories at the link below.

Important Links

Frequently Asked Questions


Are you a healthy adult interested in donating a kidney for Prabhakar? Can you help spread the word about his need? Let us know! You can message Prabhakar’s team through the form below.