Living Donors Save Lives - A 2021 Update
Before we talk about living donation, we want to give credit to all our donors and donor families who have selflessly saved so many lives. This blog is dedicated to living donation, but let us not forget those who paved the way for organ transplant – our deceased donors.
Nearly 100,000 people in America are waiting for a kidney transplant and more than 14,000 for a liver transplant. Unfortunately, many may never get the call saying that an organ — and a second chance at life — has been found. If you could help, would you?
Most people have two kidneys, but only need one. And the liver has an amazing ability to regenerate and grow back to its full size in a matter of weeks. Therefore, living donation is a promising alternative to waiting for a deceased kidney or liver. Living donation is not only good for the recipient, but every living donor transplant relieves some of the strain on the deceased donor waiting list.
Over the last several months to years, the transplant system has improved. Now patients who need a kidney transplant can be transplanted at higher BMIs. Patients who need a liver transplant can receive a living donor from anyone who matches, not just a relative or close friend. Both of these programs have a paired exchange options where recipients can “switch” donors to get their best match.
Over the next several weeks, help Mayo Clinic raise awareness of living donation. Explore our toolkits, share our posts on social media, and talk to friends and loved ones about the impact that can be made through living donation.
LIVING DONOR TOOLKIT
Living donation is a wonderful act of generosity and courage, taking place when a living person chooses to give the ultimate gift of an organ donation to someone in need.
Learn more about the donation process with our Living Donor Toolkit.
ORGAN SPECIFIC TOOLKITS
If you’ve been told you need a kidney, liver, or any organ transplant, we’re here to provide you with all the details of this process, from finding a donor to recovering from your operation.
See how our Organ Specific Toolkits can help you in your transplant process. Click on the “More” tab for organ specific information.
Why Be a Living Donor?
For one Minnesota woman, finding a match appeared to be hopeless. She had a 1 in 3,000 chance of finding a kidney that her body would accept. Waiting on the deceased donor list could have been a death sentence, but thanks to a living donor transplant chain that spanned across the country, she has a new kidney and a new lease on life.
Learn more about Amy’s story and the kidney paired exchange process.
Did You Know...?
On average, living donor kidneys last 20 years while deceased donor kidneys last 10 years. That’s 10 extra birthdays to celebrate!
Learn more about living donation with our Frequently Asked Questions.
Be a Living Donor
If you have interest in becoming a living donor, find out how to get started on being a candidate for donation.
- Learn about kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic.
- Learn about liver transplant at Mayo Clinic.
- Explore Mayo’s Transplant Center.
- Request an appointment.
- Join our discussion group