Most of us are born with two kidneys but it’s completely possible to live a long, normal, healthy life with just one kidney.
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
It is possible to be a living kidney donor!
A kidney transplant from a living donor is the best treatment for many people with kidney failure
Kidneys from a living donor last on average 12 to 20 years
Kidney transplants can also come from a deceased donor
There are currently about 4,300 patients in Ontario waiting for a deceased donor kidney
Kidneys from a deceased donor last on average 10 to 12 years
WHY BE A LIVING DONOR?
Kidneys from living donors have become an increasingly important resource in treating end-stage kidney disease. Recipients of kidney transplants from living donors enjoy better success rates compared with patients who receive a deceased donor kidney transplant. The waiting time for transplant is much shorter than waiting for a deceased donor transplant.
WHO CAN BE A LIVING DONOR?
People can donate one of their two kidneys if they are in excellent health and older than 18 years of age. A person may donate to a family member, a friend or acquaintance, or a stranger. The donor’s blood type must be compatible with the recipient’s blood type. Even if your blood type is not compatible, kidney donation may still be possible through the Ontario Paired-Exchange Program.
I’M INTERESTED IN BECOMING A DONOR. WHAT’S NEXT?
A kidney transplant can be a life changing experience for both a person with kidney disease and for a kidney donor. Before donating, the potential donor must undergo an assessment, which usually takes about a year. This assessment process ensures that donation is safe for the donor, while also providing an opportunity to discuss the benefits and risks of donation. This will help you, as a potential donor, make an informed decision. Living donors can usually get back into their normal routine within a few months of surgery. The Ontario government offers a program that may pay for some of the donor’s expenses.