What ways you can help when you can’t be a living donor?

Posted by Colleen Young, Connect Director @colleenyoung, Thu, Aug 22 11:24am

Imagine, you’ve volunteered to be a living donor. It’s a big decision. You’re excited. You’re nervous. You feel good because you’re about to give the gift of life! But for some reason beyond your control, you’re declined and unable to be a living donor. Now the emotions take a big swing in the other direction. Disappointment. Perhaps anger. And a sense of loss. You really wanted to give.

Are there other ways you can help someone who needs a transplant?

The Mayo Clinic writing team is writing an article to support people who are not able to be a living donor. They would like to hear from you.

  • Are you someone who wanted to be a living donor, but couldn’t? What ways were you able to help instead?
  • Are you a transplant recipient? What support did you find helpful from others who couldn’t be your living donor?
  • Are you a caregiver or family member of someone who needs or needed a transplant, but you couldn’t be the donor? What things did you do that helped you to help?

I am a living donor but if I wasn't able to donate a big thing I could do to help is to talk about it with others.
Depending on how far along I got in the process (talking to family, initial screening, bloodwork, evaluation etc) I would have more information about donating than the average person.
I had no idea that I didn't have to "match". I thought I was too old & fat. I thought I couldn't afford it. I thought I lived too far away. I was worried about needing the kidney someday. All of those were wrong.
I have a hard time, especially in person, telling people I'm a donor. It feels like I'm looking for accolades but I love to get the information out there about how easy Mayo & the recipient made things for me.


Tell your story! Let the accolades come, just your one small paragraph would inspire me to be a living donor if I was eligible. I am not eligible because of the cancer, I cannot even give blood. I was very disappointed! But I cared for the animals left while the person received a kidney from someone else. Animals are really my heart, so that helped.


I would have loved to be a donor. Until 1988 I donated blood every three months, like my dad did. Then I got the diagnosis of Systemic Lupus. At that time, they would take your blood, then give you a sheet that let you answer if you felt that your pint was able to be used for a transfusion. I had even tested for bone marrow transplant, and a week after the diagnosis, I received word that I was a match. But I could no longer, in good conscious, proceed with that. It made me very sad, and over the years my acceptance of all this meant there was a bigger cause for me champion. Although I can no longer consider kidney donation, after I die any organ that is viable will be donated.

Please login or register to post a reply.