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Living donation

Did you know that a friend or loved one can be a living donor? Most often, friends or family can donate a kidney. Living donors can also donate liver segments or a lobe from a lung though these are less frequent.

Stories of hope

Lifesaving gifts

The Barker family has been changed forever by donation and transplantation. As a living donor, Reid gave one of his kidneys to a dear friend and former co-worker in 2018. Lisa received a lifesaving liver transplant in 2014. Read their story

Living organ donation dates back to 1954, when a kidney from one twin was successfully transplanted into his identical brother. In 2022, more than 6,400 people were living organ donors. And three out of five of these donors aren’t biologically related to the recipient.

By offering a kidney, or portion of the liver, living donors offer their loved one or friend an alternative to waiting on the national transplant waiting list for an organ from a deceased donor. To learn more about living organ donation, choose an option below:

illustration of financial obstacles to living donation

Financial assistance available to most living donors

How the National Living Donor Assistance Center enables people to become a living donor. Read more on UNOS


Making a connection

“In the end, two people live on to be happy and live a full life,” says living donor Mark Henderson.

Transplants By Donor Type - All Organs
January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2022
Based on OPTN data as of March 19, 2023

Year Deceased Donor Transplants Living Donor Transplants
Total 166,548 32,981
2022 36,421 6,467
2021 34,814 6,542
2020 33,310 5,726
2019 32,322 7,397
2018 29,681 6,849

Data subject to change based on future data submission or correction.

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Webinar series

Transplantation Journey

Watch on-demand webinars about issues that matter to patients and their loved ones.

Social media

Finding a living donor: social media guidance

Guidance for transplant hospitals on transplant candidate use of social media to find living donors

View PDF

Increase your impact, advocate for organ donation and transplantation

We’ve outlined some best practices for sharing your personal story on social media

Learn more

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Learn about sponsorships and our editorial standards.


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