Tag: kidney donation

April is National Donate Life Month

In honor of our good friend, Bob, we want to ensure that each and every person who can donate organs has the opportunity to do so. Most in Indiana can donate by assigning their consent at the local BMV. Just tell them you want to be an organ donor, and they will ensure the donation symbol is added to your driver’s license.

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Did you know that you can donate one of your kidneys to someone who needs one while you are still living? Well, each of us has two of them, and we only need one to live a normal life. It isn’t easy to qualify to donate a kidney, however. You can’t just have a desire to donate and do it. They only take kidneys from those who are extremely healthy. Kidneys from live donors are the best option for donation, allowing for many more years of high-quality life to the person receiving the kidney. Kidneys from the recently deceased lose some of their viability as time goes on, but a living donor allows for less down time for the kidney before it is in use, again. Interestingly, those who donate one of their kidneys tend to live longer, healthier lives than those who don’t donate. It could be that they were healthier to start with, but I would be more apt to believe that those who donate a kidney are more careful to ensure they keep the one they have left healthier by continuing to live a healthy lifestyle for their entire lives.

One question I have been asked, recently, was if you have to be a perfect match for the person you want to donate to or if you have to have someone who is a perfect match for your kidney. The answer is no. The transplant experts have a great system put in place which has allowed them to save many more lives, these days, than the days when the recipient of a kidney had to be a perfect match. Today, if you want to donate a kidney to someone, and you are not a good match, there is a database available which allows for matching of donors and recipients across the nation. This is how it works:

Let’s say that you want to donate a kidney to my friend, Bob, but you are not a good match to him. Let’s say that your blood types are not compatible, but you are otherwise healthy and meet all of the criteria for donation. You and Bob would have your information and other needs logged into the database which would match you with another pair (or two pairs) of people who have the same mismatch problem that you and Bob have. You match the other person in need, and the other donor matches Bob. So what happens is that the system makes the arrangements for the four (or six) of you to be placed together for a big, multi-surgery day, and everyone gets what they need to live long, high-quality lives. Your donation to Bob goes to another person who provides a donor for Bob! Everyone wins! Donate when you can.