How to Find a Living Kidney Donor
More than 50 percent of the people who are waiting for a kidney transplant never ask anyone to donate. These people may think that they don’t have enough information about living donation, or they may feel too mentally and physically exhausted. Our tools, and the support of family and friends, will make it easier to communicate the need for a living kidney donor.
The tools provided here will assist those who are seeking a living kidney donor. People who are interested in learning more about being a living kidney donor will likely want more information about the process. Give them any of our living kidney donation materials, or point them to this website at uwhealth.org/livingdonor.
From the first step, to donation surgery, to follow up care, our living donation team will take excellent care of these generous people.
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The Importance of Clear Communication
It’s easy to assume that if people wanted to help they would just offer to donate a kidney. In fact, they may be waiting to be asked, or might think someone else is already going to donate. Some people might want to do some reading about living kidney donation and others may not even know that living kidney donation is an option.
Thinking about how they might feel may help people find ways to more clearly state their need.
Find Someone to Help
We encourage patients to quickly tell close family and friends that a living donor kidney transplant is their best option. Some patients also have a living donor champion - a person or people who help get the message out further. We give them living donor education materials to increase their chances of finding a living donor.
Share the Story
Patients and living donor champions should let people know why a living donor transplant is needed.
- Explain the cause of the patient’s kidney disease, and why their doctor recommends a kidney transplant
- State why living donation is the best option. Read the Introduction to Living Donation section to learn important facts
- Highlight that a living donor does not have to be related to the recipient or have the same blood type. Read about living kidney donation options to better understand the six different ways that allow anyone who is healthy enough to donate, to donate.
There are many ways to share the story:
- Talk About It
- Say It in Writing
- Use Social Media
- Telephone friends/start a phone tree
- Make a video
- Post a flier
- Local newspaper story
- Radio ad
- Write a message on a car window or t-shirts, get creative!
Carry a supply of our wallet-sized cards as an easy way to share the information people need if they decide to learn more about living donation. We can provide the cards and other supplies if you are interested. Request materials