Whether you’re a donor, a potential donor, or a kidney patient looking for a donor, here are a few intriguing facts everyone should know about living donors:
- More than a third of living kidney donors are over 50 years old (I was 58 when I donated to my son 14 years ago), and the proportion is rising.
2. Most living donors, like me, say they would do it again (often adding “in a heartbeat”).
3. Many living donors were inspired to donate to someone they didn’t know because of an eye-opening article they read or a moving Facebook post that resonated with them.
4. Nondirected donors–empathetic people who choose to donate to someone they don’t know and may never meet–now represent about 3% of living donors in the United States, but the percentage is on the rise.
5. Nondirected donors can save multiple lives by initiating a swap (aka a paired donation, as a friend did in advance for her son)–or even a chain of transplants. If Donor A isn’t a match for their intended recipient (Recipient A), but the nondirected donor is, he or she donates to Recipient A, and Donor A donates to someone else who wasn’t a match for their recipient, and so on.
6. Most living donors (in an informal survey) own rescue pets. (A shout-out to WELD San Diego for that interesting statistic!)