Potential Donor Information
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Information for Potential Kidney Donors

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If you are exploring the idea of becoming a kidney donor, you may want to speak with a kidney donor Transplant Ambassador who can share his or her story about donating a kidney.
To find a living donor you can speak with visit our Transplant Ambassador Directory here.
You can also get more information from the Transplant Centre closest to you. You can also find a list of Ontario Transplant Centres here.

You Can Still Help Even If You Are Not A Compatible Blood Type For Your Recipient

Even if you are not the same blood type, potential donors can still help patients by agreeing to enter the paired donor exchange program together. This is a national program that finds matches for mismatched patient-donor pairs.
Once the provincial transplant program assesses and qualifies the donor as eligible to donate, the donor must consent to be considered for donation and agree to being listed. Then the donor’s medical information is entered into the Canadian Transplant Registry, a secure computer database managed by Canadian Blood Services. You can find out more about the Paired Donor Exchange Program here:

Consider Becoming An Anonymous Non-Directed Donor

Giving directly to a particular person is one great way to help someone in need. The paired donor exchange program is another way to give where you can potentially help even more people in need of a kidney.
Non-directed anonymous donors are responsible for more than two-thirds of the transplants in the Kidney Paired Donation program. When an individual donor enters the paired donor exchange program to give anonymously, they are assessed for donation and cleared to enter the KPD donor pool as a non-directed donor (those who do not have a specific friend or family member to pair with but who wish to donate). A sophisticated matching program is run against all the pairs including non-directed donors in the registry, to identify potential donor matches that can form pairings or “chains” of donor kidney exchanges.
Non-directed anonymous donors in the paired donor exchange program may not have the opportunity to communicate with the person who receives their kidney, but the transplant program will arrange for anonymous letters to be exchanged if both parties agree.

Why Does Living Kidney Donation Provide the Best Healthcare Outcome for Patients?

Without living donors, patients must wait until they are on dialysis before they are eligible to join the wait list for a kidney from a deceased donor. Waiting for a kidney transplant from a deceased donor in Ontario may take 4-7 years, while patients who have a kidney donor often wait a year or less to receive a transplant. Every kidney donated by a living donor means one less person waiting on the deceased donor list.
The kidney from a living donor may last 15-20 years on average, compared to 10-15 years for a deceased kidney donation. This is largely because extensive testing is done on the donor to ensure the donor is healthy and has excellent kidney function.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Living Donor?

Any health issues that you don’t already know about may be found during your donor work-up. In this case, you can receive any required medical help for these conditions earlier than you would have otherwise.
You may benefit from knowing you were able to save a life or by knowing you have restored the health of your recipient. Most living donors say that they would make the same choice again. Studies have shown that donating a kidney makes donors feel good about themselves and creates stronger, lasting ties between family and friends.

More Resources For Potential Living Kidney Donors

Direct Click back to the information for potential donor resources TAP page or FAQ

Why Not Talk To Someone Who Has Done It?

If you want to speak with someone who has been through it, reach out to one of our living donor Transplant Ambassadors.

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