As the name implies, the new kidney comes from someone who is not
deceased. A living donation provides the best prognosis for
success transplant. This is primarily due to knowing the
history of the donor. With a cadaver donor, the history of
the donor is usually not known, so while the kidney is suitable
for transplant, it might not be the highest quality kidney.
Anyone can be a potential donor. Age, gender, blood type (for
paired exchange), and ethnic background do not matter. You
just need to be healthy (free of cancer, diabetes, and high blood
pressure). The key is finding a kidney that is a near perfect
match to my kidney. Finding the best match is the job of the
Kidney Transplant Center.
You can donate anonymously if you desire anonymity.
The best thing about having a living donor is that even if you don't match my needs, your kidney may match someone else on the kidney transplant list. If the other person has a willing donor who is a qualified match for my kidney, something called a Paired Kidney Exchange can be arranged. Visit the linked article that includes a clear explanation and an example scenario. Exploring donorship doesn’t require that you participate in the paired kidney exchange program if you are not a good match for me. In fact, you can start the evaluation process and bow out at any time.
Almost everyone can live a normal life with one kidney.
However, if you donate a kidney and later develop kidney failure,
your place on the transplant list is moved to the top.
Please help if you can and are willing to improve my quality of
life. I will be eternally grateful for the gift of extended life.
You can learn more about donation and live donation in general at UNOS.org and donoralliance.org. While these are great resources of information, if you have any interest, please begin the donation exploration process with UCHealth Transplant Portal.
PS: If you
aren’t interested in being a living donor, please consider signing
up to be an organ donor upon your passing.
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