Currently, there are over 60,000 people waiting on the national list for a kidney transplant. And that number grows by the hour. According to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, a new name is added to the national witing list every 14 minutes. Unfortunately, less than 10,000 kidneys from deceased donors become available for transplantation a year, a number that has remained constant for more than a dozen years while the demand has quadrupled. With the enormous increase of potential recipients, the wait for a kidney transplant has stretched from about 1 year in 1988, to as much as 4 or 5 years for some. Those on the waiting list, all of whom suffer from kidney failure, are totally dependent on dialysis to survive. Being practically tethered to a machine, it’s a mere existence for many.
When there is a living donor organ available, there is no need to be on the waiting list. A transplant can be scheduled before dialysis and all that it entails must be started.