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 who need a transplant were successful in finding a living donor. Here’s what we learned:
- 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 of your need. Sometimes people who are in the same organizations and share the same interests are willing to be tested and donate.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you are in the US and need a kidney, sign up on the National Kidney Registry.
- Try web sites devoted to finding living donors, such as MatchingDonors and Donor. 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.”
- UNOS’s Transplant Living web page has suggestions for finding a living donor.
We hope these ideas and resources help you find a donor!