sharing life with anyone in need
One of the most recent developments in living organ donation is the altruistic, non-directed living organ donor. As awareness about and the need for living organ donation grows, people who have no family or friends in need of a transplant are volunteering to share their lives with anyone on the waitlist. These are wonderful, caring people who simply understand the desperate need for kidneys.
Over the last couple of years, the less invasive laparoscopic surgery has become the standard surgical procedure for removing a donor’s living kidney. With the short 2 to 3 day hospital stay and a relatively pain-free recovery period of only a few weeks, it has become much easier to donate a living kidney. People who had never considered living organ donation before have now started investigating the possibility of becoming non-directed donors.
The first step in the process is an extensive screening questionnaire. If you pass the initial screening, the next step is the blood tests described in the donor workup page found in the details section on this site.
The organ recipient is selected using the same process for matching recipients with cadaveric kidneys. The local organ procurement organization usually makes this decision.
Because this idea is so new, not all U.S. organ transplant programs have established formal programs to accept non-directed living kidney donors. But as of January ’05, I have located over 90 programs that do. Other transplant programs may also accept non-directed donors on a case by case basis and/or be in the process of establishing formal programs.
If you are interested in becoming a non-directed living kidney donor, please contact us for more information about programs in your area. Please include your city/state so that I may direct you to the closest kidney transplant program(s) that accept(s) living non-directed donors. or contact your local organ transplant program.
To find your local organ transplant program —
Click on http://www.unos.org/members/search.asp
Select the “Member Directory” in the left-hand column
Select “Transplant Centers by Organ” from Options dropdown list in center column
Click [GO] button
Select an organ from the “Program Type:” dropdown list in the center column
Select your state from the “Sort by State:” dropdown list in the center column
Click [GO] button