Donors Say (and Get Asked) the Darndest Things!

Living donors and about-to-be donors in Facebook support groups (among other places!) are an incredibly supportive, caring bunch of people. I discovered these terrific groups just a few years ago, long after I donated to my son in 2006. We rejoice at one another’s exciting news and “kidneyversaries” and try to offer comfort in times of sadness. We turn to one another for advice, practical tips, recommendations, prayers, stories–you name it.

In a much lighter request recently, one soon-to-be donor reached out to a group to ask what were the silliest questions people had been asked about donating. It led to a delightful exchange of funny questions and moments—and yes, nearly every donor has them—in the donation process. Here are some of them:

Oh my God! Ohmygod! They didn’t wait till you died? Asked by a proud registered organ donor who’d just met a living donor and learned the key difference.

Are you aware that you cannot at any point have your kidney back?” Asked by a doctor as the donor was being wheeled into the operating room.

Can you get it back if your kidney doesn’t work out for your recipient? Asked by a donor’s sister.

Did you donate both kidneys or just one of them? Asked by a TV news anchor.

Photo by Snapwire on

Should I register for the Full Mumbai Marathon or the Half? Asked by a donor in India during her donor evaluation. “The Half” was the answer. So she did it, in January 2020–just 3 months after she donated her kidney!

“So, you drink alcohol once or twice a week?” Asked by staff after the nondrinking potential donor said she might drink once or twice a year. “Is this a trick question?” the donor asked.

You take no medications at all? Asked by the incredulous doctors, nurses, and other staff, when the very healthy 50-something donor didn’t list any medications.

Where’s the rest of your medical chart? Asked by the doctor who’d assumed the folder was missing because the middle-aged donor had no prior hospitalizations other than childbirth.

Say, have you ever done this before? Asked of the surgeon on the way into the operating room.

Can you do a tummy tuck while you’re at it? Asked of the donor’s surgeon (the answer was no), who reported that it was the question he gets asked most often.

If you have a funny story to add, please send it to me ( I’ll bet I could fill another blog post!