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Living Donors are Heroes

Posted By Pierre Charland     December 22, 2019    


Living donors are special.  It takes someone really unselfish to give a kidney to family member, friend, colleague and sometimes a complete stranger.  As of November 30th this year, there has been over 6,200 kidney transplants coming from living donors.  If we project over a year that means over 6,700 will be done in 2019.  That is about 300 more than last year.  Most of those donors are direct donations.  That means they go through the process so they can give to someone they know.  If they don’t qualify as a donor, whether it is because it is not a match or they are simply not a good candidate, it usually stops there for them.  But for some donors, especially if they qualify, it won’t satisfy them.  They will volunteer to give a kidney to a complete stranger in order to trigger a chain (aka swap).  The chain will go on until every kidney transplant candidate has a donor.  Usually to be part of a chain you have to have a donor but just that person can’t give to you due to wrong blood type most cases.  A chain usually has at least 2 donors and 2 recipients.  The longest one occurred in 2014-2015 in the USA.   In total, the chain included 68 people (34 donors and 34 recipients) at 26 hospitals nationwide.  It ran over 3 months.  That is a lot of work and coordination.  Living donor kidneys also usually last longer and work better.  There is no better way to pay it forward than this