Living Kidney Donors Network
Living & Non-Directed Donor Campaign
Reaching Religious and Fraternal Organizations
The Living Kidney Donors Network (LKDN) primary mission is to educate those in need of a kidney transplant about the living donation option and to help them develop a communications plan so they could be effective at letting their family members and friends know about their situation. There are many reasons that a living donor is preferable to a deceased donor. The biggest benefit is a kidney from a living donor lasts on average twice as long as one from a deceased donor.
Another of LKDN goals is to educate the general public about the need for living kidney donors. LKDN has a national network of volunteers that speak at many Rotary, Kiwanis and Chamber of Commerce meetings educating members about the need for living kidney donors.
There are over 100,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list. The wait for a deceased kidney donor is often more than 5 years and for some is closer to 10 years. This timeframe is longer than many people can live while on kidney dialysis. Over 5,000 people from the waiting list die each year as a result of the shortage of available kidneys.
Most people know about registering with their State Department of Motor Vehicles to be an organ and tissue donor, but the general public knows very little about living kidney donation and the impact living donors have on saving lives. Most people think “matching” is a very complicated and difficult process, but as a result of new anti-rejection drugs, it has become much easier for non-blood relatives to donate. Ten years ago over 70% of the living donors were blood relatives, and now it is closer to 50% because of these new drugs. To read more about the matching process go to: http://www.lkdn.org/LKDN_Matching.pdf
There’s a growing trend of people who learn about the long waiting list and decide to donate a kidney even though they don’t know someone in need. This type of donor is referred to as a non-directed donor (NDD). Medical technology and kidney-paired donations, also called paired exchanges, swaps or chains, results in a NDD being able to save the life of not just one person but many. These transplants are called domino-paired exchanges or ongoing paired exchanges. To read more about kidney paired donations go to: http://lkdn.org/LKDN_Paired_Exchanges.pdf
In a study using data from 2008 – 2012, analysis found each NDD resulted in 4.8 kidney transplants. For each NDD that had an O blood type, there were 6 lives saved from one NDD. Blood type O is the universal donor, which means they could donate to any other blood type. Almost half of the population is blood type O. However, when someone who needs a kidney transplant is blood type O they can ONLY receive a kidney from another blood type O making it more difficult for these individuals. Another benefit resulting from these NDDs is more blood type O recipients were transplanted.
If you would like to learn more about this campaign or help spread the word about living and NDD, contact Harvey Mysel at: harvey@LKDN.org.
For a printable copy, click here