Your Transplant Support System: Living Donor Champions

If you are on the waiting list for a liver transplant or kidney transplant, a living donor may save your life. But asking someone to be your donor can be a challenge. And how do you find someone who is willing to help? For that, you need a living donor champion.

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A living donor champion may be a friend, family member, co-worker, or anyone else who is willing to take the lead in helping you find a living donor. They offer support, encouragement, and spread the word as far as they can – letting people know that you need help.

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The Importance of Your Living Donor Champion

Every moment spent waiting for a transplant is critical. The sooner you can find a living donor, the sooner you can get off of the waiting list and get back to being healthy. A champion’s role includes:

  • Helping you find a living donor quickly and before you are too sick
  • Allowing you to focus on staying healthy while they focus on finding you a donor
  • Sharing your story with as many people as possible in hopes of connecting with someone who can help
  • Offering support and inspiration as you go through this difficult process

Most likely, a living donor will be someone who you know or are familiar with, and your champion is here to help you find that person.

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How Does the Champion Find a Donor?

To find your living donor, you will help your champion gather all of the information they need to share. Here is what they will need:

  • Your story and why you need help
  • Your blood type and any other relevant information surrounding your condition
  • General facts and information about living donation

With this information, there are multiple ways they can reach potential donors, including:

  • Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social sites can be great ways for your champion to connect with and reach possible donors.
  • Word-of-mouth – Whether it’s the occasional phone call with a family member or friend or bumping into someone familiar at the grocery store, any time spent with someone is another chance for the champion to share your story.
  • Social settings – Regular gatherings, such as book clubs, recreational sports leagues, church groups, and other community-based gatherings are places your champion can look to find a suitable donor.

With the help and support of a champion, you can start connecting with people who may be able to save your life. If you have questions about living donation, or what it takes to become a donor, please visit the UPMC Transplant Services website.