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Being a living donor

How your life may change after the donation surgery

You will need a few weeks to months to heal from surgery, but after that most donors are able to return to their normal daily life:

  • You won’t need lifelong medicines
  • You can eat the same things you did before donation
  • You can be active and play sports
  • You can still get pregnant or father a child

Most living donors say they were happy with the donation experience and that they would do it again. It’s a chance to change someone’s life. In a few cases, related living donors have even reported an improved quality of life after donation.

To stay healthy, you’ll need medical checkups yearly and need to stay at a healthy weight after donating.

Want to talk to someone who has donated a kidney and ‘been there’?

You can contact a trained peer mentor (a donor who has already donated) who will offer support and share their experience with you.

Contact the National Kidney Foundation’s Peers Program

Want to talk to a trained professional? You can contact the National Kidney Foundation Cares help line:

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