Tuesdays with … September 15, 2014
Here’s your Tuesdays with…. update for those in need of a kidney transplant and their advocates. It is a short one this week. You could use the following information and email to family members, friends and post on your Facebook page and other social media outlets. You could also include additional information about your health, progress and other activities. If this is your first Tuesdays with… update, click here to learn how to use Tuesdays with… to expand on your Kidney Kampaign.
Believe it or not, did you know people who are seeking a kidney donor might not know their donor?
Paired kidney exchanges, also called chains or swaps are becoming very common and an exciting option for kidney recipients when they have a donor who is not compatible. Kidney paired exchange programs are having a significant impact on the expanding options of living kidney transplants. Paired exchanges are now allowing transplants to occur between incompatible donor pairs and in a few unique ways.
Below is an example of a paired exchange for 2 incompatible pairs. There could be 3 or more pairs. The largest paired exchange was with 30 incompatible pairs.
A domino kidney paired exchange, see below starts with a non-directed donor. (NDD) A NDD is someone who works with a transplant hospital and donates to someone who they don’t know. Instead of just one person benefiting from their donation, this donor can allow many to benefit from their gift. The difference in the example shown below from the one above is that donor #2 is not compatible with either recipient #1 or #2. As such, the NDD allows the other pairs to be exchanged and have the domino effect. In this case the NDD also allows someone from the waiting list to receive a transplant.
Most recently, NDDs have begun initiating donor chains which have the potential to facilitate thousands of additional living donor transplants a year.
In the example below, donor #2 does not donate in this exchange which will allow many more people to receive a kidney transplant. Donor #2 is referred to as the “bridge donor” for the next “chain”. Donor #2 functions in the same role as the NDD did in this example. Additional chains could continue over and over again because each chain has an extra donor who becomes the new bridge donor.
Finding a donor, even one that’s not compatible gives me hope for the future. Perhaps you know someone who would like to find out if they are a match for me. If they’re not a match, that’s ok as it gives me optimism they can be a match with someone who has a match for me.
As you read in the above, paired exchanges are opening new opportunities for those with an incompatible donor. About 1/3 of all donors who are evaluated are not compatible with their intended recipient.
Should a paired exchange become an option there’s more you need to learn about maximizing your chances of being paired up with another incompatible pair. The following link provides you with this information.
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If you know someone else in need of a kidney transplant or would like to pass this on to your doctor or a dialysis/transplant social worker please provide him or her with this link: http://lkdn.org/tuesdays_with
Until next week, we wish you the best in your journey.