Why become a living donor?
Donating a kidney gives someone the gift of life, and there is usually a personal reason why you wish to donate, for many black living donors it’s because they don’t want family or friends to spend years on dialysis which is all to common in the black community. Many family members care for loved ones whose life is centred around dialysis, they witness the emotional, physical, and mental impact it has on them.
Parents consider themselves natural donors, often seeing donation as an extension of their role. Siblings donate because of their concern for their brother’s or sister’s wellbeing. Other blood relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins, half brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews) also come forward as donors.
Other people who are not related often come forward as donors too; most commonly spouses, life partners, close friends, in-laws and relatives.
Who can be a living donor?
A living kidney donor is a person who gives one of their healthy kidneys to someone so they can have a transplant This can be to a friend, family member, or someone you do not know.
Why is living kidney donation especially important for Black people?
Due to the low number of Black people on the donor register, Black kidney patients can spend on average 3-4 years on dialysis while waiting for a deceased donor. With a living donor transplant, your loved-one can avoid needing dialysis treatment entirely.
Can I be a donor if I have not had children?
Yes, many women have had babies after donating a kidney, without any impact on the pregnancy from the kidney donation. For most women donating a kidney will not cause additional risk during pregnancy or childbirth.
How long will it take to recover?
After donating a kidney, a person may need up to 12 weeks off work to recuperate depending on their work, although most donors are back to normal within six weeks.
Will I be on any long-term medication?
No, you will not be on any long-term medication as a kidney donor.
Living with one kidney
As a donor you have a yearly check to monitor your kidney function you are advised to drink plenty of water and continue living your life as before.
What if I need my kidney in the future?
Before you can become a donor, you will have several medical tests, these tests are to ensure that in the future you are not at risk of developing kidney disease.