I’ve long thought that living donors are a special breed. Whether we live in Iowa or North Carolina, the United States or India, Australia or France, I fully believe we have more in common than what separates us. As I discovered so vividly at the Living Donor Rally at the Bean in Chicago last year, we have an extraordinary bond. We “get” one another on a level that transcends age, gender, race, country, or politics.
I was particularly reminded of that recently when I received an email from a living donor in Australia. Kaye Price, an enterprising living donor advocate, with whom I’d had just a couple of exchanges, was writing to check on my safety in the path of Hurricane Dorian. I was touched by her concern, but the funny thing is that I didn’t feel that she was a stranger. Like me, she’d turned her experience as a living donor (to her sister-in-law) into a mission. She founded a free app, DonorPlus (available through Google Play and the App Store), with another entrepreneur/living donor advocate, Patricia Hunt. Much like this website and my book with Betsy Crais, The Greatest Gift, their app “informs, supports, and empowers living donors.”
Although certain procedural specifics obviously vary by country, the basics are remarkably universal. DonorPlus guides the potential donor through the decision making and the preliminary interviews. It’s definitely applicable to potential donors in many countries. The website, DonorPlus.org, features donors’ stories and even a large selection of donor merchandise.
The app is in the early stages, but they’ll soon be releasing a more advanced version that includes an expense tracker and planning tools. In addition to practical information for potential donors, the app will connect people with previous donors to make a direct connection. Kaye and Patricia have big plans for it and would love to get input from people all over the world. They have succeeded in attracting investors in Australia and will be traveling to the States soon to meet with major donor groups and medical centers.
I hope we can connect while they’re here. Meeting fellow living donors and supporters always feels like meeting old friends.