Living Kidney Donors
As of May 2011, there were close to 2,500 individuals on the waiting list for a kidney transplant in the state of Michigan and more than 111,000 in the nation. Due to the length of the kidney waiting list and the short supply of deceased donor organs, the waiting period for a deceased donor kidney can be several years. Therefore, if you are waiting for a kidney, having a live donor can decrease your waiting time for a kidney transplant. Your parents, children, siblings, other relatives, in-laws, and close friends can all be considered for living kidney donation. Some people do not have a designated recipient and end up donating a kidney to someone they do not know. Our transplant team is always available to ensure all your questions are answered thoroughly, whether you are a patient or potential donor, and to arrange any additional counseling necessary to help you make the decision.
Begin the kidney donor process by submitting our Kidney Donor Form.
Paired Kidney Donation Program
If you need a kidney and have a family member or friend willing to donate one of his or her kidneys, but it cannot be done due to tissue or blood type incompatibilities, we have a potential solution. A University of Michigan-developed software program works to match an incompatible recipient/donor pair with other pairs in the same situation, offering new hope to those needing kidney transplants. View a video about the U-M organ matching software and the people it has helped.
Who Makes a Good Donor for Kidney Transplant?
Kidney donors do not need to be related to the recipient, although they often are related. They can be friends, coworkers, members of the same church or other organization, or any other type of relationship. While many people are willing to be living donors, not everyone has the qualities necessary to participate in living donation. Donors must be chosen carefully in order to avoid unwanted medical or psychological outcomes.
While the individual circumstances of each potential donor are considered and testing must be done to determine compatibility, all potential donors must be:
- genuinely willing to donate
- physically fit
- in good general health
- free from diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and heart disease
Individuals considered for living kidney donation are usually between 18 and 65 years of age. Gender and race are not factors in determining a successful match. Hypertensive donors over the age of 50 may be eligible under certain conditions. Download our Living Kidney Donation booklet to learn more.
To make an appointment to evaluate your need within our Transplant Center or ability to donate a kidney, call a patient care representative at 1-800-333-9013. Find a University of Michigan kidney-pancreas transplant doctor by clicking on the “Our Team” header in the right sidebar.