Like many living donors and donation advocates, I get frequent Facebook requests to “like” a page for someone looking for a kidney–that is, for a living kidney donor. If you’ve only recently heard of such things in passing–perhaps a friend of a friend or someone at work–you may wonder what the fuss is all about. Last year I wrote a post explaining why there’s such an emphasis on finding a live donor.
Here’s an additional benefit that’s implicit, but I’ll admit I hadn’t realized it at first: every time someone on the U.S. list (roughly 100,000 people) finds a living donor, they’re removed from the list, which obviously then gets shorter. In other words, everyone benefits, not just the intended recipient. And if it’s part of a paired donation–that is, a kidney swap–or even a chain, then multiple lives are saved.
None of these exciting options were available when my son’s kidneys were failing back in 2004, so we’ve certainly seen dramatic progress. But there’s still a long way to go to meet the critical need.
For related posts and information on my new book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation, be sure to explore the rest of my website.