Rush Henrietta Rotarian, Janet Wright, speaks about her experience as a living kidney donor for her younger cousin. Learn about this generous Rotarian's experience and the opportunities that you have to become a donor. 
On June 23, 2016, I donated a kidney to my then 12-year-old cousin.  John went from 15% kidney function back in 2016 to a strong, healthy student at Duquense today. Donating a kidney is easier than most people realize.  If you are generally in good health, you are likely qualified to donate.  Some of the reasons to be a living donor are to save more lives by removing variables.  Time and great care are taken by the transplant teams, on behalf of the donor and a separate team for the recipient, to ensure that the best possible match is made.  The testing and then surgery are scheduled so that everyone and everything is prepped and ready when the big day comes.  Instead of someone in need receiving dialysis until someone who is a match passes, the probability of rejection decreases because a recipient can have their transplant sooner.  Everyone involved will be prepared instead of rushing to a hospital when the day comes that a pager goes off! 
If you are interested in being a directed living donor, meaning you donate to a specific person, but you’re not the best possible match, you can use the Donor Network.  The hospital, and sometimes several hospitals, will look at all possible donors and any directed recipients, and find the best possible combinations. Then, everyone willing to donate is able to, and the people who would like to receive a kidney do as well.  This once again decreases the probability of rejection by lining up the best candidates with the best recipients.  Some donors are altruistic donors, meaning they donate to a complete stranger.  You, the donor, are able to decide that you would like to remain anonymous and it will stay that way forever if that is the donor’s wish. If you prefer to meet the recipient, a stranger can become a friend for life. Then, you both are eligible to participate in events such as the Donate Life Transplant Games (learn more in the next Hub!)
The same concept applies to anyone interested in being a living liver donor, or a bone marrow donor.  Less common procedures, but will still save a life.
Hesitant to be a living donor?  Sign up for the donor registry.  When you pass, which won’t be for a very long, long, time, you can save up to 8 lives.  Eight people will benefit from your generosity, and all it takes is filling out a short form at  Send me an e-mail if you have any questions about being a Living Kidney Donor.