What is Living Kidney Donation?
Most people are born with two healthy kidneys and can safely donate one while continuing to live a healthy life. Donating a kidney – becoming a living donor – is a selfless act that can improve or save the life of a person with advanced or end-stage kidney disease.
For these sick individuals, there are only three treatment options:
With dialysis, a machine is used to artificially clean the blood, doing the work of a healthy kidney. It’s time-consuming and exhausting, as frequent as three times a week for up to four hours each session. While a patient can remain on dialysis for many years, it’s not a cure for kidney disease. In fact, ten percent of patients on dialysis die each year while waiting for a kidney transplant. For some groups, such as elderly patients and patients with diabetes, there is an even greater risk of dying.
A kidney transplant is the preferred treatment option for patients with end-stage kidney disease. But the demand for kidneys from deceased donors is greater than the number available – which means patients can wait years for a kidney transplant, often growing weaker while waiting.
The best and fastest option for a patient in need of a kidney transplant is to receive a kidney from a living donor.
Help your loved one find a living kidney donor. Be a Donor Champion and be their voice!
There is an enormous physical and emotional toll of living with end-stage kidney disease, not to mention the exhaustion of dialysis treatment.
So it is not a surprise that finding a living donor can be overwhelming. In fact, the conversation is so difficult more than half of all people in need of a kidney transplant do not even ask one person to donate!
Take this burden off your loved one and spread the word for them to help identify potential living donors.
Advantages of a living kidney donor transplant
Who would be a good living kidney donor candidate?
What are the risks of donating a kidney?
How long does it take to recover from a kidney donation?
How to start the process to be a living kidney donor?
Identify a Living Donor Champion
To be a Donor Champion, you will first need the approval of your loved to publicly share their need for a kidney transplant with others. You will also need to be willing to:
- Learn about the kidney donation process
- Spread the word on social media, in social groups and in everyday conversations
- Serve as the point of contact for anyone requesting more information about donating to your loved one and direct them to Ohio State's living donor questionnaire