Kidney Foundation Car Donation, donate car to kidney foundation.#Donate #car #to #kidney #foundation
Kidney Foundation Car Donation
Kidney Foundation car donations are a great way to help out those less fortunate than you and I. Donations have already helped thousands, but they desperately need more help.
The National Kidney Foundation s Kidney Cars Program is a charity that permits you to donate your used vehicle (or even boat) in exchange for two benefits you won t get from a dealer trade-in:
You may get a nice tax deduction and you get the satisfaction that you are helping out a truly worthwhile cause.
A Kidney Foundation car donation is better than other charities because over 81 cents of every dollar from your donation goes to helping individuals who need it most. Important programs and services your donation helps include:
- Support for patients and families whose lives have been dramatically affected, as well as screenings for early detection of kidney disease.
- Continuing education for health care professionals that ensures kidney patients have the latest care available.
- Kidney disease research.
- Public education aimed at raising awareness of the need for kidney donors.
- Patient advocacy programs that look out for patient rights and needs thru legislation.
What are the requirements for donating your vehicle to the National Kidney Foundation s Kidney Cars Program?
1. The vehicle must be in one piece.
2. Damage to the frame must be reported.
3. The general condition and mileage should be known.
4. Write down the year, make, model, as well as the VIN#.
5. Have the title to the vehicle (with no money owed on the vehicle).
How would I go about making the actual Kidney car donation?
a. Call in your donation to a National Kidney Foundation representative that can handle car donations (call and see).
b. Complete the online form to get started.
After calling in your donation or completing the online form, you will receive a packet in the mail that has the details about completing your donation. Before the actual pickup of your vehicle can be made, however, the National Kidney Foundation representative must receive your completed car donation packet.
Then you ll get a letter confirming your intent to make a charity vehicle donaton. Included with this letter will be details for filing your car donation tax deduction.
It IS a great cause, so go ahead and make a kidney car donation this year. Your goodwill car donation is sorely needed. A major health problem today, kidney disease affects thousands as we speak
Over 350 thousand Americans are on dialysis machines just to stay alive. Over 77,000 kidney disease patients are waiting for a miracle a donated kidney that will mean life for them.
But the following number is staggering: Over 25 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and that number is on the rise. Early detection is the best way to treat this disease, but unfortunately, symptoms often don t appear until your kidneys are failing.
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Charity Car Donations, Auto Removal Recycling, Junk Car, Used cars, donate car to kidney
Donate a Car It s Easier than you think!
Donate a Car makes car donations simple for both you, and the charity you love. We make used car donations, car removal, car recycling, or simply junking a car an easy process for you. We are honored to manage every donation made, and we are committed to providing exceptional customer service every step of the way.
Easy and Hassle-Free
- Free Towing or Pick-up in Every Province.
- Simple online form, or Toll Free Number to Donate 1-877-250-4904
- Hundreds of Charities to Choose from.
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Your Dependable Choice
Your car donation holds monetary and sentimental value. Our donor support guarantee is that we re here to honor both. With integrity and attention to on-time detail, the gift of your charity car will be carefully handled for you so that you can easily gift the charity that matters most to you.
- Millions of dollars in donations successfully processed since 2003.
- Excellent customer service for donors and charities.
- A+ standing with the Better Business Bureau.
- Tax receipt guaranteed with every donation.
What donors have to say
It was really hard to part with my Acura Legend. After 21 years of faithful service, it needed more mechanical work than I could afford, so I decided to donate it to charity. I went to the Donate a Car website and with a couple easy steps, I was able to choose the charity of my choice and arrange pickup of my vehicle. Donate a car contacted me right away and answered all my questions promptly. Within 24 hours, the towing agent contacted me as well and my car was off to auction by the weekend. The process was so easy, I felt like Donate a Car took care of everything for me, and was also, very sympathetic to the loss of my car. I highly recommend Donate a Car. Thanks! Donna L
What charities have to say
Heart and Stroke is proud to partner with Donate A Car. From coast to coast, their service and expertise allows our donors a convenient and trouble free way to both dispose of their unwanted vehicle, and also support our cause. We are proud to partner with a service that provides our donors with a worry-free experience, while inviting them to support our cause, help improve the lives of Canadians living with heart disease and stroke, and benefit from the tax receipt that is provided for their donation. Thank you Donate a Car for your partnership and your important service. Carolyne Solby
Director, Volunteer Focused Fundraising | Heart and Stroke Foundation
MORE than just Car Donations!
Donate a Car do not just recycle cars, it recycles vehicles in an environmentally friendly manner, If you have a newer or estate vehicle that you would like to donate, we have selling agents across the country that are ready to assist in maximizing your donation.
We accept all types of vehicles for donation. Donate your Car, Truck, Van, SUV, Motorcycle, Boat or RV.
Donate Now and Make a Difference
Your used car donations make a difference to the charity that matters most to you. With hundreds of charities partnered with our program, you can choose almost any registered Canadian charity to gift. We will ensure their receiving process is easy as well.
There are no fees charged to the charities at any time, so they can put each of your donation dollars to the good work they are doing on behalf of Canadians like you.
Donate your car in 3 easy steps
Make a donation
Support Our End of Financial Year Appeal
Our Appeal campaigns are integral to our fundraising efforts. Regardless of the size of the donation, your support makes a real difference to the lives of those with kidney disease.
Give a Donation
Your generous donation will help fund our work across education, research, advocacy and support.
Regular Donation Gifting
Read six benefits of regular donation gifting, and see why you should set-up an easy regular donation.
Gift a donation in memory of a loved one.
In Lieu of Flowers or Gifts
Consider making a donation in lieu of gifts or flowers, in occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, funeral or other significant moments.
A powerful way to provide a gift in the future.
Priscilla Kincaid-Smith Research Foundation
Building upon the legacy of an Australian medical pioneer.
Donate your time
How you can donate your time to support us
Learn about opportunities to partner with Kidney Health Australia to help in the fight against kidney disease
Recycle your pre-loved clothing and help us make a difference!
Donate your old mobile phones to us for recycling.
New set of wheels? Did you know you can donate your old car to Kidney Health Australia?
Kidney donation – Become a kidney donor – American Kidney Fund (AKF), donate a
More than 100,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. Many more people are waiting for a kidney than for all other organs combined. Unfortunately, the number of people waiting for kidneys is much larger than the number of available kidneys from living and deceased donors. You can save a life by being a kidney donor.
What is a kidney transplant?
Almost everyone is born with two kidneys, but each person only needs one healthy kidney to live. When both kidneys stop working, it is called kidney failure (end-stage renal disease, or ESRD). People with kidney failure must have dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive. A kidney transplant is a surgery to give a person a healthy kidney from someone else s body. The donated kidney can come from someone who has just died or someone who is still alive. When the kidney comes from someone who has just died, it is called a deceased donor transplant. When the kidney comes from someone who is alive, it is called a living donor transplant. After a living donor transplant is done, the recipient (the person receiving the kidney) and the donor (the person donating the kidney) each has one healthy kidney.
How can I donate a kidney?
There are two types of kidney donation. You may be able to donate a kidney while you are still alive. You may also choose to be an organ donor after you pass away. If you know you want to be an organ donor after you pass away, the best way to make sure your wishes are honored is to register as an organ donor. This is something you can do online. You can also make sure your driver s license shows that you would like to be an organ donor and you should tell your family members that you would like to be an organ donor when you pass away.
How can I donate a kidney while I am alive?
If you have two healthy kidneys, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys to save someone else s life. Both you and the recipient of your kidney (the person who got your kidney) can live with just one healthy kidney.
If you are interested in giving a kidney to someone you know, the first step is to contact the transplant center where that person is registered. You will need to have an evaluation at the transplant center to make sure that you are a good match for the recipient and that you are healthy enough to donate. If you are a match, healthy, and willing to donate, you and the recipient can schedule the transplant at a time that works for both of you. If you are not a match for the person you know, but are still willing to donate your kidney so that the recipient you know can receive a kidney that is a match, paired donation may be an option for you. Learn more about paired donation.
Another way to donate a kidney while you are still alive is to register as a living kidney donor who will give a kidney to someone you do not necessarily know. This is called living non-directed donation. If you register as a living non-directed donor, you might be asked to donate a kidney when you are a match for someone who is waiting for a kidney in your area. You will never be forced to donate; if you are called to donate, you may decide at that point if you are ready and willing. If you decide you want to register as a living non-directed donor, the first step is to contact transplant centers to talk about this option.
Learn more about living organ donation here.
How can I donate my kidneys after I die?
We usually do not expect to die until we reach old age. But sometimes the unexpected happens–a car accident, a heart attack, a stroke. You can decide now that you want to save others lives if, after doctors have tried everything to save you, your life cannot be saved. Your organs and tissues will only be donated if there is no chance of saving your life.
By registering as an organ and/or tissue donor, you are giving permission for your organs and/or tissues (such as skin and bones) to be given to people who need them. The organs from one person can save up to eight people, and the tissue from one person can help more than 50 people! You may give permission for some organs or tissues to be used and not others. You may also say that you only want your organs or tissues to be used for one purpose and not others. For example, you may decide that you only want to donate your kidneys and no other organs, and you only want them to be used for organ transplants, not for any other purposes.
If you are considering donating your organs in the event of your death, talk about your wishes with your loved ones. You may also talk about your questions and concerns with your doctor. If you decide you do want to be an organ donor, the best way to make sure that your wishes are honored is to register to be an organ donor with the National Donate Life Registry.
Click here to read answers to frequently asked questions about organ donation.
Click here to register on the National Donate Life Registry to be an organ donor.
Minority kidney donation
For a kidney transplant to be successful, the donor kidney must be a good match for the recipient s body. A person of one race or ethnicity can get a matching kidney from a person of a different race or ethnicity, but matching kidneys are most often found in donors who are of the same race or ethnicity as the recipient. Because there are more non-Hispanic white people in the U.S. than people of any other race/ethnicity, most of the registered organ donors are also non-Hispanic white. But kidney failure happens more often among minorities than it does among non-Hispanic white people. There are not enough minority organ donors to meet the needs of all of the African-American, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latino people who are waiting for kidney transplants.
This content is supported by an educational grant from Novartis
Let’s face it, donating a kidney is a life altering decision that should not be taken lightly. It could be empowering for some people to know that their kidney helped someone live longer and enjoy the life to the fullest, especially if that someone is a family member or a dear friend. However, living with one kidney requires making smart choices for the rest of your life that might not put too much pressure on the remaining kidney and lead to renal failure.
Decision of donating a kidney could be made by a relative of a seriously ill person in high need of a renal transplant due to a serious disease like, for example, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, or other condition that led to a kidney failure. However, a kidney donor could be a completely unrelated to a patient individual with highly altruistic motivation that had been previously bio-matched to the patient.
According to the kidney donor requirements, all kidney donors must be in overall good health, without major chronic conditions, between the ages of 18 and 70, without detrimental bad habits and mentally and physically stable.
Let’s take a look at Top 10 important factors to consider before donating a kidney.
1. Selling a kidney for profit is never a good decision, plus it’s illegal in most countries. There are always better ways to earn money. If you decide to donate for altruistic purposes, you might only be reimbursed for medical, travel and housing expenses associated with renal transplant decision.
2. Not being psychologically prepared for a failure is a major factor to consider. There’s a small chance that your kidney will not be able to adjust to living in a new body and serve its new recipient for a very short time if at all. Being psychologically prepared to donating a kidney will make any surgery outcome worthwhile.
3. If you are a person who loves risk and living on the edge, donating a kidney might not be for you since you are highly unadvised to being involved in contact sports or risky recreational activities to reduce chances of injuring your remaining kidney after the surgery.
4. Not following a healthy diet is the number one mistake an organ donor can make. A healthy and wholesome diet will allow you to preserve the health of your major organs for years to come.
5. Drinking plenty of clean water is essential for the health of the whole body, including your kidney, make emphasis on natural water and herbal teas.
6. Ignoring exercise can cost anybody their good health in the long run, including persons living with one kidney. Exercise helps keep kidney healthy by stabilizing blood pressure, removing toxins from the body while sweating and keeping your blood sugars in check.
7. Lifestyle modifications are necessary to help preserve your one kidney and health overall. Not smoking and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol will help ward off illness.
8. Regular medical check-ups are essential for all kidney donors. Not monitoring blood pressure or protein in urine is dangerous for your health.
9. If you are a woman who is planning to have children in the future and is currently considering being a kidney donor, be advised that you might have slightly higher chances of developing preeclampsia in your future pregnancies.
10. The last but not least among donating a kidney mistakes is not making your wishes to donate known to all your friends and family in case of your actual death.
Living kidney donation
Kidney transplants from living donors now make up around three out of every ten kidney transplants in Australia each year.
Living donors can be:
- Related: a relative (parent, brother, sister, or adult children), related by blood to the recipient
- Unrelated but known to the recipient: partner, non-blood relative or friend of the recipient
- Non-directed kidney donation or altruistic: This is where someone anonymously donates a kidney to a recipient on the transplant waiting list. In this situation the living donor has no say in who receives their kidney.
Requirements to be a kidney donor
Not everyone is able to be a living kidney donor. Conditions that may prevent you from being a donor include:
- Diabetes, or an increased risk of developing diabetes in the future
- High blood pressure,
- Heart, stroke or breathing problems
- Being overweight or underweight
- Other conditions such as cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, and psychological issues.
If you re thinking of becoming a live kidney donor, you may find these videos* and fact sheets helpful to make an informed decision.
*Permission to host these videos has been provided by Queensland Health.
Organ donation fact sheets
Other useful resources
Information for Living Donors – DonateLife Tissue and Organ Donation Authority
The Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Programme
This scheme, also known as the AKX Programme, is an initiative of the Australian Government s Organ and Tissue Authority to increase the options for living kidney donation.
The program helps people seeking a kidney transplant whose potential living donor is unsuitable due to blood group and/or tissue incompatibility.
A computer program is used to search the entire available database of registered recipient/donor pairs and look for combinations where the donor in an incompatible pair can be matched to a recipient in another pair.
If a compatible match is established, by exchanging donors two or more simultaneous transplants can occur. This option is known as paired kidney exchange, or paired kidney donation.
Donating a Kidney
Donating a Kidney
Kidney transplantation is the best way known to save a person’s life after he or she develops kidney failure . In the past, kidneys were only taken from living close relatives or from people who had recently died. Transplants from living donors have a better chance of success than those from deceased donors. Also, the waiting time for a cadaver kidney can be as long as 4 years in the United States. For this reason, more people are making the decision to become kidney donors.
A living donor needs to be:
- In good general health.
- Free from diseases that can damage the organs, such as diabetes, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or cancer.
- At least 18 years old, typically.
What steps should I take to become a kidney donor?
If you decide to become a kidney donor, samples of your blood will be drawn for testing, including your blood type and other genetic information (which may include HLA type ) to see how well you match the recipient. These tests may be repeated before the surgery if you decide to become a donor.
If your blood tests are good, you will meet with social workers at the transplant facility to discuss other obligations. You will be given information, such as how much time you will need to take off from work and details of surgery and the recovery process, that will help you make an informed decision. Your meetings with the social work team will be strictly confidential.
When will I meet with a doctor?
After you have decided to become a kidney donor and your crossmatch results are known, you will be evaluated by a doctor, usually a nephrologist . Your evaluation will begin with a medical history and physical exam. You will have a series of lab tests to screen for kidney function, including chemistry screen , urinalysis , and urine tests for protein . You may also have a CT scan of the kidneys to evaluate your kidneys, urinary tract, and other structures in your pelvis.
What is involved in kidney transplant surgery?
You will be given a general anesthetic before your surgery. Until recently, the removal of a kidney required an 8 in. (20.3 cm) to 9 in. (22.9 cm) incision on one side of the body (flank). Now, laparoscopy is usually used to remove the donor kidney. Advantages of laparoscopic kidney removal include less pain, shorter hospital stays, a more rapid return to normal activities, and a smaller, less noticeable scar.
What are the risks of becoming a kidney donor?
Removing a kidney from your body involves major surgery. There is a risk of complications from surgery, such as pain, infection, pneumonia, and bleeding.
A person can live with only one healthy kidney. But doctors are learning that donating a kidney may increase the chance of certain health problems in the years after the donation. More research is being done to better understand the long-term risks.
Donating an organ can affect you and your family. Many emotional issues are involved. There may be costs such as travel expenses and lost wages. And organ donation may affect your insurance coverage.
If you are thinking about donating a kidney, your medical team will help you understand the pros and cons so you can make the decision that’s right for you.
What limitations will I have after I have donated a kidney?
Donating a kidney will not cause any limitations in your normal daily activities. After the recovery from your surgery, you will be able to resume all of your normal activities, including exercising and participating in sports.
Donating a kidney will not affect your ability to become pregnant, carry a child to term, or father a child.
If a woman has donated a kidney, her risk for preeclampsia or high blood pressure during a pregnancy may be higher.
Who pays my hospital costs?
In the United States, your medical costs will be covered by the recipient’s medical insurance. Most insurance companies cover 100% of the medical costs of a transplant, including pretransplant evaluations and lab tests. If the recipient does not have medical insurance, your medical costs will be covered by Medicare.
For more information on becoming a kidney donor, see:
- Transweb at www.transweb.org.
- National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org.
- American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) at www.aakp.org.
- United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) at www.donatelife.org or www.transplantliving.org.
Other Works Consulted
- Garg AX, et al. (2015). Gestational hypertension and preeclampsia in living kidney donors. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(2): 124–133. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1408932. Accessed September 16, 2015.
- Rudow DL, et al. (2015). Consensus conference on best practices in live kidney donation: Recommendations to optimize education, access, and care. American Journal of Transplant, 15(4): 914–22. DOI: 10.1111/ajt.13173. Accessed October 2, 2015.
- Segev DL, et al. (2010). Perioperative mortality and long-term survival following live kidney donation. JAMA, 303(10): 959–966. DOI:10.1001/jama.2010.237. Accessed September 16, 2015.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD – Internal Medicine
Adam Husney, MD – Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP – Nephrology
How safe is donation?
If you are thinking of donating a kidney, it is important to consider your decision carefully. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How safe is it to live with one kidney?” After all, most of us are born with two! Donor safety is a priority. Regardless of the need for kidneys, donation is not acceptable if the donor is put at excessive risk of harm, so every effort is made to minimise the chance of problems. Being a healthy person is not the same as being a suitable donor. For example, you may have been born with only one kidney and only discover this when you put yourself forward for tests. This would obviously prevent you donating a kidney, but it does not mean that you are not healthy.
Donation is not risk-free. Your medical team will discuss the main risks with you as you go through the process and you will need to consider these carefully when deciding whether you wish to be a donor.
This information does not cover detailed medical questions; it is designed to give you general information about donating a kidney based on the advice of medical professionals and currently accepted guidance in the UK, from the research that is available to them. Your healthcare team will discuss risk with you in more detail and on an individual basis, particularly if there are certain concerns about you or your recipient because of your lifestyle, medical history or demographic, as risk must be considered on an individual basis based upon your individual circumstances.
It is also important to note that research in this area is continually evolving and it is not possible to cover every eventuality. Not every possible consequence of donation has been fully researched.
There are two main aspects to the question of how safe donation is for the donor: the operation itself, and living with one kidney.
Donating a kidney requires a major operation under general anaesthetic. No operation is risk-free, so it is important to make sure that you are fit and well beforehand so that the risks to you are as low as possible. (See The donor operation). It is very difficult to describe risk in a way that means something to everyone, but we usually say that the risk of dying from donating a kidney is one person in 3,000. This is similar to the risk of dying from having an appendix removed.
There are a number of other risks linked with the operation itself, such as infection, bleeding and pain. As with any surgery, there can be other less common and unexpected complications.
However, one of the benefits of being a kidney donor is that you go into the operation in good health, and the transplant team will know a great deal about you from the assessment that you have been through. This helps them to anticipate any problems, discuss them with you and to deal with them better should they happen.
Every transplant centre in the UK performs transplantation of kidneys from living donors, and one in every three kidney transplants is from a living donor – around 1000 such operations are performed in the UK each year. This means that the donor operation is much more common than it used to be and surgeons are very experienced in removing kidneys safely.
Living with one kidney
Again, this information is designed to give you general, rather than detailed, information about risk.
It is generally considered very safe to live with one kidney and your clinical teams will outline the main risks to you, which include the most common and the most severe risks, as well as the main risks for your own particular circumstances.
It is important to note that studies into the long-term effects of donating a kidney are on-going.
You can check the latest professional guidelines on the British Transplantation Society website here should you wish to. The current Living Donor Kidney Transplantation Guidance was published in May 2011, with an addendum published December 2014. New guidelines are expected to be published shortly. The guidelines are aimed at clinical teams but you can discuss any aspect of these further with your coordinator should you wish to.
It is important to be aware that every donation carries risks and it is not possible to cover every eventuality when considering risk. However, some of the most notable post-donation research indicates the following:
- Some studies have indicated that there is a slightly higher chance of a small increase in your blood pressure or the amount of protein in your urine as a result of having one kidney. However, these are checked at annual follow-up and, if found, can be treated.
- The overall risk of developing significant disease in your remaining kidney after donation is low, occurring in fewer than one in 200 (0.5%) donors, and it is much less in kidney donors than it is in the general (unscreened) population (because kidney donors are, of course, pre-screened to ensure they are healthy).
- Compared to the general public, most kidney donors have equivalent (or better) survival, excellent quality of life, and no increase in end-stage renal disease (ESRD kidney disease).
- However, some studies have indicated a slightly increased incidence of ESRD post-donation among certain groups, in particular, black donors, younger donors, donors genetically related to their recipients, donors related to recipients with immunological causes of their renal failure, and overweight donors. However, the risk is still lower than that of the general (unscreened) population.
- Whilst most women have uncomplicated pregnancies after donation, there is a slightly increased risk of gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia.
- It is also important to be aware that, although generally risks across the board are very low, every individual is different and it is not impossible for a number of other uncommon complications to occur. For example, although rare, on-going fatigue and persistent pain have been reported by small numbers of the thousands of living donors.
When considering donation, it is important for donors to think about how they might feel if something unlikely or unusual were to happen to them, and to discuss these concerns with their clinical team as part of the assessment process.
Please be aware that these studies have made some units more cautious about accepting younger donors and, as such, younger people may be asked to consider waiting a few years before donating. If you are denied the opportunity to donate and you still wish to pursue it, you can always seek a second opinion from another unit.
After donation, you will be invited back for check ups soon after your surgery and then annually. Other than these annual checks, the same policies and procedures apply to you as they would apply to any other NHS patient you will not receive any preferential treatment as a result of donating a kidney. However, in the extremely unlikely event that you need a transplant yourself later in life, you will be offered additional priority on the transplant waiting list within certain criteria.
Risks for the recipient
How safe is living donation for the recipient of a kidney? Quite simply, living donor kidneys are the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of kidney transplants, because we know that the kidney has come from someone in the best of health, and the operation will have been planned under the best possible circumstances. All recipients are fully informed about the risks by their healthcare teams. There is no doubt that the potential benefit to the recipient far outweighs the risk to the donor.
Transplantation is an uncertain business, and there are no guarantees of success, but living donation has all the right ingredients to create the best opportunities for a good outcome for the recipient. It truly is the gift of life.
Transplant Links saves lives of patients with kidney failure, donating a kidney.#Donating #a #kidney
donating a kidney
I just wanted a second chance at life. Thank you for my kidney, Dad. MARCUS, AGED 11. TRINIDAD 2014
Skill transfer is at the heart of everything we do. TLC SURGEON, MR INSTON
I’m proud to be part of a team that’s making a difference. TLC CEO, DR JENNIE JEWITT-HARRIS
I am able to do things that I never imagined I would be able to do again. I’d like to thank my sister for donating her kidney. SHANEKE, JAMAICA 2014
Welcome to Transplant Links Community
Transplant Links Community is a UK registered non-religious and non-political charity that saves the lives of children and adults in the developing world who suffer from life-threatening end stage kidney disease. We offer teaching and advice, and carry out living kidney transplants, sharing our knowledge with local medical teams in a variety of countries – so that sustainable transplant programmes become a possibility for the future.
Transplant Links was established in 2006 by a group of British doctors with many years of experience in kidney transplantation, wanting to share their skills with doctors and surgeons in developing countries. Kidney failure is a hidden emergency in developing countries, where for most patients the outlook is worse than a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. Teaching skills in renal transplantation can change this. We hope that you will share our passion for this vital work, which is saving lives and improving medical skills and understanding for the future. It gives a healthy member of a family a chance to donate one of their kidneys and save the life of their loved one who is dying from kidney failure.
Transplant Links is a charity which relies totally on charitable donations. It is run with a mighty staff count of 2! Dr Jennie Jewitt-Harris is the CEO of TLC and Aimee is the part time project manager. Together they coordinate the transplant missions, deal with administration, they are the PR team, they manage social media and raise funds for the transplant missions. The very first donation to TLC to get the work started was made by the late Anthony Jewitt, Jennie’s Father, just before he passed away. We are honoured to continue to carry out this work in his memory. He liked to make a difference.
Thank you for any help that you can give us. The video below shows you more about the work that Transplant Links does. Please take a look around our website to find out more about where we work, who and what is involved, and how you can be a part of it.
All photographs are used with permission from patients and are © Transplant Links Community
Please do not contact us about the buying or selling of organs. This is illegal and we will not respond to your message.
What’s It Like to Donate a Kidney?
There are two options to stay alive when a person has end stage renal disease (ESRD): dialysis or a kidney transplant. If a person with this last stage of chronic kidney disease (CKD) qualifies for and decides on a transplant he or she can go on a waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor, or ask friends and family if they are willing to donate a kidney.
There’s a lot to think about when making this important decision of becoming a living donor. So, what’s it like to donate a kidney?
Qualifications for becoming a living kidney donor
The first requirement is good health. You must have normal kidney function and anatomy. Potential kidney donors will have a comprehensive physical examination. A psychological evaluation will be required to insure the potential donor’s mental health. Here is a list of what you may need to do if you want to donate a kidney:
- Complete physical exam: From head to toe, a physical exam is performed to find any abnormal physical signs or symptoms.
- Immunological tests: These determine blood type and tissue type.
- Laboratory tests: Electrolyte balance, unsuspected glucose intolerance, pancreatitis, venereal disease – these are all conditions that need to be screened before a kidney donation can be approved. The transplant team will also test for liver abnormalities, heart function using an EKG (electrocardiogram) test, and past or present viral disease.
- Chest X-ray: Shows images of your lungs, heart, ribs, bones of your spine and blood vessels, and can reveal conditions such as fluid in the lungs, emphysema, an enlarged heart, cancer and many health issues.
- Medical history assessment: The kidney transplant team thoroughly examines the potential donor’s health and family history.
- Kidney function tests: A urine sample is taken to screen for kidney disease and urinary tract infections (UTI), measure protein amount in urine and determine the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) – a measurement of kidney function.
- Intravenous pyelography test: Dye is injected into a vein in the arm. The dye reaches the kidneys via the bloodstream where it is taken up and passed into the urine. X-rays are taken to identify the structure of the kidney, ureters and the bladder.
- Helical CT scan of the kidneys: Produces images of the internal structure of the kidneys. It also can detect cysts, tumors and other abnormalities.
- Renal arteriogram: This is the final X-ray that shows the vasculature of each kidney, the number of blood vessels to and from each kidney and any evidence of vascular disease. It requires an observation period of 6-8 hours after the exam and may involve hospitalization.
- Psychological evaluation: This evaluation includes an impartial, private forum for a potential donor to discuss important information about the donation process and assess the donor’s motivation for wanting to donate a kidney. The health care team will also act as an advocate to either proceed with donating or declining to do so.
- Gynecological exam and mammography: For potential female kidney donors.
- Financial consultation: Like any significant medical procedure, cost and insurance coverage need to be considered. In many cases the kidney recipient’s insurance or Medicare will pay for testing and surgery. However, the donor may incur additional expenses. It’s important to discuss the details with the hospital’s transplant coordinator, your job’s human resource department and possibly an insurance attorney.
Test results will be evaluated by the kidney transplant team. The team is composed of nephrologists, surgeons, nurses, social workers and financial counselors who will determine if the potential kidney donor is a good match.
Your emotions when you donate a kidney
Kidney donors may have a wide range of emotions, including joy, relief, anxiety or a sense of loss throughout the process. Even if you are elated at the thought of giving the gift of life, as a potential kidney donor you should have a support system throughout the process. Family, friends, spiritual guidance, organized support groups and mental health counseling can be helpful.
Kidney donor surgery
If you are matched with a kidney recipient, surgery is usually scheduled in 4-8 weeks. You will undergo a nephrectomy, or kidney removal surgery. The transplant team will explain the procedure in detail when the surgery date is set.
Getting a nephrectomy done
There are two methods to remove a kidney: an open nephrectomy and a laparoscopic nephrectomy.
In an open nephrectomy, an incision approximately 12 inches long is made in the abdomen. Sometimes the surgeon must remove a rib. The ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder) is cut between the bladder and the kidney, and blood vessels are cut and clamped before the kidney is removed. The incision is closed with stitches or staples. The procedure can take up to three hours. Some benefits of open nephrectomy include:
- Allowing surgeons to place sterile ice directly on the kidney to prevent damage during surgery
- Donors experience less urinary leakage after surgery
Laparoscopic nephrectomy is minimally invasive. It uses a wand-like camera called a laparoscope to view the abdominal cavity. The kidney is then removed through a small incision. Laparoscopic surgery takes approximately two hours. Its advantages are:
- Shorter recovery time
- Shorter hospital stay
- Smaller incisions
- Fewer post-operative complications
Recovering after the nephrectomy
A kidney donor is required to stay in the hospital for 2-7 days, depending on the type of nephrectomy performed and donor’s rate of recovery. Your health care team will carefully monitor your kidney function, blood pressure, electrolytes and fluid balance during your stay.
It is common to experience discomfort and numbness caused by severed nerves near the incision area. Pain relievers will be available for you throughout the recovery process. Deep breathing and coughing may cause discomfort because the incision is near the diaphragm, but breathing exercises can prevent pneumonia. Movement may be encouraged as soon as you’re able in order to reduce the risk of blood clots.
Risks and complications of kidney donor transplant surgery
Kidney transplant teams do everything they can to minimize risks to donors with the intensive pre-testing and screening we’ve described. But every surgery has risks. Possible complications of kidney transplantation include:
- Damage to kidney
- Blood clots
- Collapsed lung
- Bleeding (hemorrhage) requiring blood transfusion
- Rare allergic reactions to anesthesia
Leaving the hospital after a nephrectomy
You may feel tenderness, itching and some pain as the incision heals. Every kidney donor recovers at a different rate. It’s important to consult with a doctor to determine an appropriate activity level during recovery. Heavy lifting is not recommended for six weeks following the surgery.
The Mayo Clinic recommends a follow-up evaluation 6-9 months after the surgery. A nephrologist will check kidney function through blood work and a urine sample.
Life after donating a kidney
Most kidney donors live long, healthy lives. It is important for a donor to alert all their doctors and pharmacists about the donation, and to have regular appointments to monitor blood pressure and kidney function. As long as a donor exercises and maintains a healthy weight, there should be no need for dietary restrictions.
Your remaining kidney will eventually grow to compensate for the missing kidney. Having a single, larger kidney can make you more vulnerable to injury so many contact sports should be avoided. Talk with your doctor about which activities you can participate in safely.
Giving life to a person in need
Giving life by becoming a kidney donor can be very rewarding. You are providing a person the chance to live without the help of dialysis. When you consider donating a kidney, remember that you will go through a concentrated evaluation process by a kidney transplant team. They will check that you are physically and emotionally ready to donate; they want to be sure you will continue a healthy life and the recipient gets the best kidney for his or her body. If you are thinking about changing a person’s life by becoming a donor, it’s important to gather all the facts and establish a support network. To get support online, join myDaVita.com where you may find others in your same situation.
Related kidney disease education articles on DaVita.com
Tools and Resources
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