How to Begin
If you are interested in becoming a living kidney donor and are in good health, here are some steps you can take:
- Learn as much as you can about living donation. You must come forward of your own accord and learn as much as you can about what is involved in donating a kidney. You can only make an informed decision by getting as much information as possible and discussing your interest with your family as well as healthcare professionals. Your decision to become a living donor is a voluntary one and it has to be right for you. You can also change you mind at any time
- Find out your blood type: You will need to have a blood test done to determine your blood type. Your doctor or a Living Donor Coordinator can help you arrange this test. Or, you may you already know your type because you are a blood donor.
- Confirm blood type compatibility. Contact the transplant center that is taking care of the potential recipient to confirm whether your blood type is compatible. The donor and recipient don’t necessarily need to have the same blood type but they must be compatible. Ask to speak to the Living Donation Coordinator who will tell you about the organ donation process and ask you some questions about your general health. You will be sent information about the donation process and a health questionnaire to complete.
- Talk to the potential recipient. Talk to the person you want to donate your kidney to and see if they are willing to consider you as a donor. Please be aware that some people living with kidney failure decide not to have a transplant, or they decide not to have a living donor. The decision of the potential recipient should always be respected–it is their right to decide against a transplant or to decline a living donor organ. If the person declines your offer, it does not take away anything from your generous offer. The decisions, rights and feelings of both parties should be respected.