Finding a Living Donor
A common question we get from people needing a transplant is “How do I find a living donor?”
Over the years, we have learned a few things about how people were successful in finding a living donor. Here are some examples:
- Make sure your friends, family, and coworkers are aware of your need for a living donor. Most donations are made by friends and relatives.
- Notify members of social, religious, and other groups you belong to. Sometimes people who are in the same organizations and share the same interests are willing to be tested and donate.
- If your employer has a newsletter, see if they would be willing to do a story about you.
- Create a Facebook page to raise awareness. Get your Facebook friends to “share” your page so the friends of their friends… and so on… become aware of your need. Be sure to post messages on that page on a regular basis to keep it fresh, interesting, and interactive. You’ll get more attention that way.
- Post in Facebook groups that have members who live in your area, and in groups that specialize in donors and recipients.
- Set up a Twitter account and send out tweets expressing your need.
- Put a message on your car.
- Contact the local media – newspapers, radio, and TV – to let them know of your need. They are often interested in human interest stories in the community.
- Create a flyer or poster (or both!) with a QR code that opens to a web page with living donor information and screening contacts at the transplant center. Put the flyers on car windshields, coffee house message boards, etc. Put up posters in shop windows, on telephone poles, etc.
- If you are in the US and need a kidney, sign up on the National Kidney Registry.
- National Kidney Registry also supports “microsites” (small personalized websites) for people looking for a kidney or liver donor: Tools to Find a Living Donor.
- Try web sites devoted to finding living donors, such as MatchingDonors, Donor, and Kidney Solutions. You may need to pay a fee to use their services.
There are several web pages listed below that also provide suggestions for finding a living donor. While most are about finding a kidney donor, the ideas apply as well to other forms of living donation.
- Living Kidney Donors Network. Their mission is “to educate people in need of a kidney transplant about living donation and to prepare them to effectively communicate their need to family members and friends.”
- Living Kidney Donor Search has a section “for donor searchers” with ideas.
- The National Kidney Foundation has suggestions on “how to make the ask” and a course on finding a living donor.
- UNOS’s Transplant Living web page has suggestions for finding a living donor.
- National Kidney Registry has a web site dedicated to finding a kidney donor.
And here is the detailed description of how one mother found a living kidney donor for her daughter: How to Find a Kidney Donor – Renal Support Network.
We hope these ideas and resources help you find a donor!