Identify a Donor Champion
Identify a Living Donor Champion
What Your Champion Needs to Know
To begin identifying potential living donors, start by discussing with your family and friends why your doctors are recommending a kidney transplant, explaining that living kidney donation is your best option.
It will be easier to initiate the conversation and find the right words to express your emotions with those closest to you. Each conversation you have will make you more confident to speak with others. If you feel you cannot find the right words to say in person, consider sending an email. During your conversations, let others know that you understand living donation may not be an option for everyone. Acknowledge that this is their decision and that your relationship will not change if they choose not to donate.
Here are a few ways to contact your family and friends and potential strangers who may be willing to be donors. Keep in mind that there is no “right way” to communicate your need. However, it is certain that the longest route to transplantation is to say nothing and wait in silence for a deceased kidney donation.
Send your family/friends a letter or email updating them with your condition and the progress being made to find a living donor. The holiday season is an optimal time to send such a letter; however a personal note can be sent at any time.
Social networking provides several tools for connecting with potential living donors. It is easy to connect with your entire social network, and allows for your friends to share with others outside your immediate social circle. Additionally, you can keep followers updated and link to other living donation websites.
Have your Living Donor Champion post a short request in the bulletins of places of worship of family and friends. Since all major religions practiced in the U.S. support organ donation and consider it a generous act of caring, you may find potential donors from the congregation.
Chad (left) still isn't sure how he ended up in renal failure, he is sure he can count on his brother Rick (right) who jokes, "He's my brother and he's family. If he needs it, he's got it. That's what family does."
Carl of Kettering, Ohio had a kidney transplant in 2003 after nine years on dialysis. Since his transplant, he and his wife Louise celebrated their 50th anniversary and welcomed two great-grand children.
“I’m so appreciative of what my mother did. I take good care of the gift she gave me.”
“Giving life to another person is a blessing.”
John knew his kidneys would fail one day, and his daughter, Samantha, was by his side, ready to donate. "I didn't have to die to be able to help someone though organ donation," she says. "We have the means to help each other through living donation."
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