Living donation enhances the quality of life of the kidney recipient and can be an extremely rewarding experience for the donor.
Transplantation is the preferred treatment for most patients with kidney failure; most transplant recipients lead a more active, less restricted, and longer life than patients who remain on dialysis. Unfortunately, the wait times for a transplant from a deceased donor are getting longer every year. Transplants from a living donor allow recipients to be transplanted faster and living transplanted organs tend to last longer than transplants from a deceased donor.
My first kidney transplant was from a deceased donor, and it lasted 18 years. The average life span of deceased kidney is 11 years. A kidney from a living donor lasts an average of 18 years. How long do you think I can make it last?
What Does it Take to be a Living Donor Candidate?
Donors need to be in good health.
Here is what typically DISQUALIFIES you as a a good donor:
- Are under the age of 21 (it is very difficult to determine the long-term risks of donation in young donors)
- Have significant underlying medical issues that increase their risk with surgery
- Have significant underlying medical issues that increase their risk with life-long reduced kidney function after donation
- Have kidney disease or insufficient kidney function
- Have significant transmissible diseases
- Are unable to give informed consent
- Are actively using non-prescribed substances
- Have diabetes or “pre-diabetes”
- Have high blood pressure
- Are significantly overweight (defined as a “body mass index” over 32)
- Have insufficient financial or social support
- Are inmates of correctional facilities
- Are not comfortable with proceeding
- Donors over the age of 70 are rarely considered to be appropriate
To donate to me, you need to have an A or O blood type (A+, A-, O+, or O-). If you don't have those blood types, you could still be my donor. There are paired exchange programs where they match living donors to other patients that also have a living donor.
To learn more go to OHSU's Facts for the Kidney Donor page.
For stories from living donors, visit donor stories.
I'm Interested in Being a Living Donor, What Now?
Go to my contact information page.