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.
Fill out the form below or call 833-683-3555 for more information.
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:
- Are in good physical and mental health
- Have a BMI less than or equal to 32
- Do not engage in drug or substance abuse
- Have no history of pulmonary hypertension, HIV, liver disease (like cirrhosis or hepatitis), active cancers, or other significant diseases
Liver donors must be between the ages of 18 and 55, and kidney donors must be between the ages of 18 and 75.
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.
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.
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About Transplant Services
Established in 1981, UPMC Transplant Services is one of the foremost organ transplant centers in the world. Our clinicians have performed more than 20,000 organ transplant procedures, including liver, kidney, pancreas, single and double lung, heart, and more. We are home to some of the world’s foremost transplant experts and have a long history of developing new antirejection therapies—so organ recipients can enjoy better health with fewer restrictions.