My story of Good Karma- by Brian Martindale; Karma Inc Apparel
My story behind our Karma Inc Apparel shirts began in 2008 in Las Vegas,Nv. I had moved to Las Vegas from Bay City,Mi. in 2005 with plans of staying for a few months of tradeshow work as a carpenter. I ended up staying until May of 2008,owning a small business,and having my son David stay with me in 2008 while he attended UNLV,and worked in Las Vegas.
While David was with me in April of 2008, we discussed creating a line of designs for t-shirts and other apparel together as David had always worn shirts that had cool designs and catchy slogans. I wanted it geared toward giving back and helping others,and the word Karma kept coming up. After I wrote out 3 pages of my thoughts,3 days later David handed me a drawing of what became the now Karma Inc Apparel logo. Shortly after that we returned to Bay City, and I kept working on ideas for designs with meaning to each one; as in Peace,Love,and Giving Back to others.
In August of 2010 I was working full time,and getting our Karma Inc Apparel designs on some well know people,as we donate 25% Of All Profit to charity.I was introduced by Hugo Ferriera,the lead singer of the band Tantric, to my now friend Brent Lafromboise,who needed a Kidney. At the time Hugo asked me if we could design a special shirt for raising money to help Brent get his Kidney Transplant. I said yes, and after getting to know Brent, I decided a few months later to see if I was healthy enough to be part of a Paired kidney Donation,as I did not match Brent. This would have allowed Brent to get a Kidney from someone who did match him,if I donated to someone who matched me. So I got tested at the University of Michigan,and found I was healthy enough to donate. But a few months later, Brent was put out of their program due to health issues.
I stayed on the donors list,and moved forward with a store for my Karma Inc Apparel in Bay City,which opened in October of 2012. While reading the newspaper which I just happened to pick up on September 29th,2012,just days before opening the store,I saw a picture of a mother and her 10 year old daughter. The mother-Stacy Schwerin,had been standing on the Wilder Road and State street corner in front of WalMart in Bay City,Michigan; holding a pink sign. Her daughter Jessica was in stage 4 Kidney failure,and needed a Kidney immediately. Many people had stopped and offered money, and 2 said they would be willing to get tested, and the story got the attention of the newspaper,and local TV. Two days after reading it, I decided to call the mothers phone,without letting on who I was. I found out I was the same blood type,and then contacted the University of Michigan,and got re-tested. I turned out to be Jessicas' perfect match. Stacy and Jessica where notified the day before Thanksgiving in 2012 they had a match,but they didn’t know who. We were introduced in December,and on January 11th of this year,Jessica received my left Kidney at C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital. We have now become good friends,and it turns out we only lived 4 blocks apart. Because of creating a line of apparel geared toward helping others,I was led to becoming a Kidney donor. If not for good Karma,I would have never known about what someone goes through with Kidney disease,and would have never been involved in a Kidney Donation.
"My Good Karma"
Since then, Jessica has done well with my Kidney, we Celebrated 7 years since our surgeries on January 11,2020. And I am now a Peer Donor Mentor at The University of Michigan Transplant Center. And , I am married,and have a wonderful Grandson Maxson ,and a Granddaughter Maisie-the First Girl in our Family in 103 Years! Always #Choosekindness ,Stand Up for your Beliefs,and Remember-"YOU RECEIVE WHAT YOU GIVE"
Brian Martindale-Karma Inc Apparel
- Posted in My Good Karma Blog