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What is Living Donation?

More than 3,200 people in our region are waiting on a life-saving transplant. Living and deceased donation programs are working to end that waiting list. Learn more about living vs. deceased donation.

What is Living vs. Deceased Donation? 

Right now, more than 3,000 people in our community are waiting for a life-saving transplant and 22 people die each day nationally waiting.  

There are many organizations focused on living and/or deceased donation, all working tirelessly to one day make those numbers zero.  

Deceased donation is the process that occurs when someone who has passed away shares any transplantable organs with another person or people.  

Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ (or part of an organ) for transplantation to another person. The living donor can be a family member, a friend or a stranger. Thanks to improved medications, a genetic link between the donor and recipient is no longer required to ensure a successful transplant. 

There are two primary types of living donation:  

  1. Anonymous: Often referred to as a non-directed or altruistic donation, this is when the recipient isn’t specified or known by the donor. 
  1. Directed: This is the most common type of living-donor organ donation. In this type of living-donor organ donation, the donor directs the organ to a specific recipient for transplant. 

The directed donor might be: 

  • A first-degree relative, such as a parent, brother, sister or adult child. 
  • Other biologically related relatives such as uncles, aunts or cousins. 
  • A biologically unrelated person who has a connection with the transplant candidate, such as a spouse or significant other, a friend or a co-worker. 
  • A person who has heard about the transplant candidate’s need. 

Is LifeSource Involved in the Living Donation Process? 

Transplant centers have living donation programs and manage the living donation process. Because of our experience with organ recovery techniques, our LifeSource team will occasionally support living donation cases/patients as well. Involvement typically includes safely preserving and packaging these precious gifts when the donor and recipient are at different hospitals. In some cases of living donation, we also handle the transport of the organ to the recipient hospital. 

What Can A Living Donor Expect? 

  • To stay in the hospital for two days after surgery.  
  • Most kidney donors resume normal activities after four to six weeks, depending on the physical demands of their daily living and work tasks.  
  • You may have lifting restrictions for at least six weeks.

To learn more about living donation: 

To register as a deceased organ donor, visit our online registry or check the “donor” box on your driver’s license.