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Finding a living donor

Who are living donors and why do they donate?

icon for kidney transplant from live donor

A living donor transplant is when a healthy person donates 1 of their 2 kidneys to someone whose kidneys no longer work. Anyone can learn about donating a kidney and consider if donating a kidney is right for them. Donors can include family, such as siblings, parents, cousins, or spouses. They can also just be friends, co-workers, or even a kind stranger. Here are a few reasons living donors give:

  • To help my friend feel better
  • To make a difference
  • I need my mom around
  • To help my sister live a long time
  • To have everyone’s lives return to normal
  • To grow old together
  • To help someone in need

Who can be a living donor?

At most transplant centers, your living donor must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Healthy and active
  • Able to take time off work or school to get the tests and interviews
  • Able to take off at least 2-3 weeks from work or school after the surgery
two adults
mother and baby

At most transplant centers, a living kidney donor can’t:

  • Have kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer
  • Have high blood pressure that is difficult to control
  • Have certain viruses such as hepatitis C or HIV
  • Be very overweight (BMI over 35)
  • Have drug or alcohol problems

Let your transplant center do the screening to know what they will and won’t accept.

Leaders in transplant excellence

UNOS works with leading educational partners to provide accurate, trustworthy health information. Our educational partners include:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Duke University School of Medicine
Emory University
Johns Hopkins University
Mount Sinai Hospital
Northwestern University
Temple University
University of California, Los Angeles

 

 

 

Special thanks to our corporate sponsor for supporting excellence in transplant education:

 

 

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