Learn more about how you can find a living organ donor

If you or someone you know is waiting for a kidney or liver transplant, you’re probably familiar with living donation.

Transplants from a living donor are an alternative to the waiting list and can help you or your loved one receive a transplant sooner. Here are three steps to help you find a donor.

Click Here to Learn More about Receiving a liver transplant. Contact UPMC.

Give the gift of life. Learn more about how you can become a living organ donor. 

Determine Who Can Help

It’s likely you already know the person who will become your living donor. It could be a close friend, family member, coworker, Facebook friend, or a former classmate. Start by making a list of prospective donors who fit the following eligibility requirements:

Liver donors must be between the ages of 18 and 60, and kidney donors must be between the ages of 18 and 75.

RELATED: Find Your Living Donor Champion

Share Your Story

Once you develop a list of possible donors, it’s time to let them know you need help. As you tell your story, it’s important to remain positive and remember that asking someone to become a donor can be very emotional.

Be ready to share the following information:

  • Why: It’s important to let them know why you need a transplant and why living donation is your best option.
  • What: You should be prepared to answer questions and provide background information regarding living donation.
  • When: Include a sense of urgency. Let people know that the sooner a suitable donor can be found, the healthier you’ll be when you undergo the transplant.

RELATED: How You Can Donate Life: Different Types of Organ Donation

Make Connections

There are multiple ways to connect with potential donors, and social media is one of the most effective tools. A Facebook page dedicated to helping you find a donor can reach hundreds of people. Learn more about how to find a donor via Facebook.

It’s important to constantly share your story because you never know who will able to help. Start by spreading the word through phone calls to family and close friends.

For more information, please visit the Living Donor Champion Toolkit.

Then talk with friends and acquaintances from group or social activities, including:

  • School or work
  • Gym or fitness center
  • Family gatherings
  • Places of worship
  • Book clubs

Pamphlets, business cards, television ads, and radio spots also can help you share your story. Once you have a volunteer, encourage them to register as a donor with UPMC. If they are an appropriate candidate, the UPMC Living Donor Transplant Program will contact them about next steps.

The most important thing is to stay positive. Others that you encounter on this journey will guide and support you, share your story, and become your advocates in finding a donor. For more information, please visit the Living Donor Champion Toolkit.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

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About Transplant Services

For more than four decades, UPMC Transplant Services has been a leader in organ transplantation. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, making UPMC one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and take on some of the most challenging cases. Through research, we have developed new therapies that provide our patients better outcomes — so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions. Above all, we are committed to providing compassionate, complete care that can change – and save – our patients’ lives. Visit our website to find a provider near you.