March 9th, 2010
04:22 PM ET

Study: Donating a kidney doesn’t boost risk of premature death

By Caitlin Hagan
CNN Medical Associate Producer

Live kidney donation is a safe, effective procedure that poses little risk for the premature death of the donor, reports a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That's welcome news to the more than 106,000 people on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) transplant list who are waiting on potential donors as of this writing.

The JAMA study is the first of its kind to review the health of live kidney donors over an extended period of time. Researchers looked through more than 80,000 records of people who had donated a kidney between 1994 and 2001. They found that for every 10,000 donors, there were only 3.1 deaths within 90 days of the transplant. Being over age 50 or obese at the time of the transplant did not increase a donor's risk of dying prematurely.

"Kidney donation surgery is an extraordinarily safe operation in terms of...risk of death, the most serious surgical complication," explains Dr. Martin Zand, medical director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Programs at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Zand says that recipients worrying about potential kidney donors' health has become major point of concern during the transplant process, even though the number of live kidney transplants performed annually has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. Today nearly 6,000 live kidney transplants happen every year.

"By donating a kidney, they're concerned their donor will put themselves at risk for everything from minor surgery to development of kidney disease to death," says Zand. "These donors are family members or partners but also people that come forward from the community."

The hope within the transplant community is that this information will ease some of the concerns expressed by both potential donors and their recipients, particularly because no other research has followed so many live kidney donors for so long.

Generally donors must complete an education process that outlines the risks associated with transplants, before they can donate a kidney. The goal is to make sure each donor is as informed as possible about the surgery they've elected to have.

"There's an enormous value to this, in terms of public health, in terms of medical practice, " says Zand.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.

soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Marcelo

    I donated a kidney to my Dad in 1995 and it gave him an additional 13 years of life. I am an example of a positive experience. I am now 54 yrs. old and glad I was able to do this. The only downside to the kidney donation question is that of obtaining life insurance. I have been rejected for that exact reason. I never really understood it. Thank you.

    March 9, 2010 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Deanna

    I donated a kidney to my dad 4 years ago and I had to laugh when I saw the title of this article because donation greatly increased my risk of premature death. 13 hours post-op I coded 3 times and was fortunately brought back, but it was definitely premature. My dad is doing great and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

    March 9, 2010 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Nicole

    No one in our family was able to donate a kidney for Dad, but luck was on his side, and he just got his transplant from a deceased donor. We're going through his recovery process now.

    Please: make sure you're an organ donor. Your donation will save lives – my dad is proof!

    March 9, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Brenda

    I donated a kidney to my sister in 1996, May 20. We were adopted and not from the same parents. She did well for about 5 years and then it failed. She is still going strong although she is on home dialysis. I have been great though. No health problems although I wish she was doing better. Luckily, my husband works for the federal government and my sister worked for the state government of Michigan so we didn't have any insurance issues before or after. The government needs a health care plan. ...

    March 9, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chaya Lipschutz, kidney donor & kidney matchmaker

    I donated a kidney to a stranger in September 2005. Since my kidney donation I have been wanting to do more – so I now have a project to help others who are in need of a kidney. I don't get paid for this and don't charge a fee. My brother donated a kidney as well – to someone on my list of people in need of a kidney.

    I am in touch with many kidney donors like myself – all of us are doing great, no one has regrets, and some of us wish we can do it again.

    If someone out there has not donated a kidney yet and needs more information – please feel free to contact me.

    Best wishes,

    Chaya Lipschutz

    E-mail KidneyMitzvah@aol.com

    Website: http://www.SaveALife-DonateAKidney.com

    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtZ7KModWRU

    March 9, 2010 at 22:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elee

      My mom is in ICU, I was just told tonight that she will have a fischer put in her arm to give her diaylsis for renal failure and transplant will be her best option. I'm so scared, I'm 31 w/a 3 yr old and have my own health issues, but I'd do anything for her. She's Type 2 diabetes as well which is the root cause of all this, what if I'm not a match or in the condition? What are her chances in receiving a donor off the national list? She's only 52 and I want her to see her growing old to watch the family thrive. My father passed at 40 from colon cancer and I just can't lose my mom. Any advice? Thank you sooo much and also for your big heart to that stranger.

      January 16, 2011 at 20:03 | Report abuse |
    • Kenny Wallace Alcorn

      Hi, Chaya .....This email is about my dearest darling wife Tricia, who needs a kidney sooooooo bad ! She just celebrated her 69th birthday on Monday 18th Jan 2016, the kindest,loving, and truly remarkable lady you could meet ,ALWAYS thinking of others in her desperate wait for a donor, its Breaking my heart to watch her fading like a lovely rose,I pray every night, and sometimes during the day, for some sort of magical solution, Tricia has a 1 in 10,000 chance of a matching kidney, because of antibodies in her blood, I'm so frustrated because I can't help, I have a liver problem,high blood pressure, and other health issues,but would die for her, as life would Not be livable without my lovely wife of 50 years, it has made me feel so good just to tell someone, about Tricia and particularly someone ,just like you ,who knows (how it is) Tricia's brother Jim, flew to Australia 10 years ago from England to give their younger brother EDWARD a life saving kidney (He is still doing very well) my daughter Wendy has the same disease (PKD), her son Ryan was born with only one kidney, I could go on, but thank you for letting me get this cry for help out to someone, God Bless you in all you do, you Chaya seem to be of the same Angelic brand as Tricia

      January 20, 2016 at 06:52 | Report abuse |
  6. Amy

    I have been interested in donating a kidney for several years, but was discouraged from doing so by my doctor. Her reasoning was that it "made sense" to do so for a family member, but not for a stranger. She also explained that as my doctor, it was her responsibility to ensure MY health and advise me accordingly, and it was not in my best interest to undergo an unnecessary surgery and all its inherent risks. Her job is to keep me as healthy as possible, as so she could not encourage me to donate unless there was an extreme circumstance. I have never been satisfied with this response–it is something I have researched and considered for some time. I am healthy and while anything is possible, I do not want to live my life afraid of a small risk while others die. I realize that a daymay come when a family member may need a kidney and I will wish I could donate to them. But that may never happen, and in the meantime there are other people in real pain, in real need, dying right now. How can I not help if I am able. Also, in about 10 years I may be too old for donation, in which case, I won't be able to help anyone, family or otherwise. Anyone else in this situation?

    March 9, 2010 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anonymous

      Sorry, but I'm with your doctor. I'm a kidney patient myself but I would be hesitant to let a family member donate to me, let alone a stranger! There are so many side effects to being a donor that you should research EXTREMELY carefully. However, I am grateful to everyone who signs up to be a posthumous donor.

      July 30, 2010 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
    • Elee

      Do what you feel is right and in your heart-I am sooo happy there are giving souls like yourself. GOD BLESS.

      January 16, 2011 at 20:06 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      So 2 years later... what did you do? I'm plan to donate my kidney next month undesignated. Considering the risks, why wouldn't I take a small risk for potential huge gain for another person? Jesus did.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
  7. laurie

    At the age of 49, I donated my right kidney to my brothers wife, July 20, 2007. This was paid for by the transplant clinic at Erie County Medical Center, Buffalo, NY. I received numerous necessary test, twice with great results... I was and still, 5'5", 140lbs, a non-smoker and healthy, healthy, healthy!! One month after the operation I was dropped by Humana Health Insurance Company simply because I now had just one kidney. No insurance company will pick me up unless I pay over $500 a month and that is just for a catastrophic illness, along with a high deductible. Of course, nearly 3 years later, I am without health insurance. Still, very healthy and very glad that I donated my kidney, but there is a price to pay.

    March 9, 2010 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. laurie

    In addition to my previous comment, the care and information that I received before, during and after donating my kidney, was very informative and helpful in making my decision to go forward with the donation.... I was not a person that had any health issues, broken bones or even dental work done throughout my life. Because of the care that I was given, I would do it all over again. The time and patience that these doctors and their team puts forward to their patients and donors, has my sister-in-law and myself forever grateful for the experience we had to go through.

    March 10, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Keri

    I donated a kidney to my father in law in 2003 and he is still doing fantastic. I have not had any health issues due to the donation and have felt blessed by this opportunity.

    March 10, 2010 at 00:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Tammy

    In 2003 our daughter donated a kidney to her dad, both are doing well at this time (3-9-10). We chose Henry Ford in Detroit because they do Laprascopic for the donor. The doctor who removed her Kidney forgot to close a vessel and she bled internally, coded 3 times, brought back & rushed back to surgery, she now has a scar top to bottom of her abdomen. the doctor apologized immediately which we appreciated, however the hospital went right into possible sue mode & treated her horribly mentally! Regardless of all this we are still all for transplants, they do save lives! I just would recommend you check your doctors out carefully, make sure your doctor will be around for your recovery to catch any early problems, ours left for a seminar right after he took out her kidney, delayed her getting treated quickly during her recovery period. The poor nurse Carol had a difficult time getting a doctor to take my daughters symptoms seriously until it was almost too late! Be aware Be aware Be aware Please!

    March 10, 2010 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. M. Robertson

    I'll be giving my Dad a kidney in a few months. I'm forwarding this article to both my parents and my children to ease their minds.

    March 10, 2010 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Uri

    A simmilar study published in the New England Journal of Medicine about a year ago, went futher to study quality of life issues of donors as well. The conclusion was that donors have a slightly better quality of life & live slightly longer than the general population, however these observations were not statisticaly signficant. The BIG news is that generally, donors do not sacrifice their health by donating, but do have a tremendous impact on the recipients lives.

    March 10, 2010 at 03:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Heather

    Stories like all of yours are inspiring – I work at Upstate New York Transplant Services in Buffalo NY. Any positve stories or new articles such as this help the community to become more aware of organ and tissue donation. We need to get the word out to as many people as possible! This is a great thing. I hope this encourages more people to reigster to be organ donors!!

    March 10, 2010 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. John

    Come on people! Get over it! How can any person be so selfish as to ask another person to donate a kidney? Especially if you're over 50. You're not going to live forever – – if you get kidney disease and a cadaver doner can't be found, just let it go! If you are afraid of death, become a Christian and you will know that death is not an end but a beginning! Then you wil not try to hang on to your compromised life by asking others to donate organs to you.

    I have an acquaintance in her 70's who is on her second transplant. She had the unmitigated NERVE to call up one of her nieces and DEMAND that the niece give her a kidney after her first transplant failed (she got about 5 years out of it). How selfish can you get?

    March 10, 2010 at 11:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Brandy

    I recieved my moms kidney 4 years ago, 10/25/05, the hardest part for us was the first 6-8 weeks after the transplant, recovering together was nice but we had to have babysitters. My dad, sisters and boyfriends put in a lot of overtime and I am thankful for ever bit of it. We had awesome care at St. Johns in Tulsa and dialysis in McAlester, which was my second family. I know if it weren't for a living donor I'd still be waiting for a kidney. Thank you, Bo.

    March 10, 2010 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sunderan Moses

    Four years ago, my wife had a kidney transplant, and her donor was our 30 year old son. We are so thrilled and happy and grateful to our son, who without telling us, went about and had himself checked and was found to be the 'perfect match' for my wife. Seems like God had a way to bring us closer together. Both mother and son are doing exceptionally well, with only one handicap. The doctors told my son that he could get into all his physical exercises and could play all or any game except football. This did not affect him much, since he is into basketball, and now coaches a High school in basketball.
    We really thank God for His Blessings.

    March 10, 2010 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Joyce

    I donated a kidney to my husband 2 1/2 years ago. We are both doing well; he gets to carry a piece of me wherever he goes :).

    March 10, 2010 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Matt

    I donated a Kidney to my Mom in 1992. It gave her 12 additional years of not being "tied" to Dialysis and she thanked me everyday for her "freedom". I am 46 now and doing well.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Jamie

    My mom was the recipient of a live donor kidney donation on November 1, 2005. Her and her donor are doing well and we are forever indebted to the donor. She is a family friend and my mom's guardian angel. She never thought twice about donating and we are grateful for that. There have been studies that show a longer life for the transplant recipient's with a live donor vs. a cadaver donor. Please be an organ donor, it saves lives and helps yours go on.

    As for John. Grow up. You can never demand and make someone give you an organ. Because I am not a bad person, I will refrain from making a statement that if you get a terminal disease, that you just "let it go" and move on.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Karen

    I donated a kidney in 2005 to a non-directed donor. That is, I gave my left kidney to a complete stranger. It was a great experience, I wouldn't have done it differently. I know from updates from the transplant coordinator that my recipient is doing great and in excellent health. I undergo a yearly testing to see if donating has affected my health. I get the comment that I am as healthy with one kidney as I was before with two.

    Donation saves lives!! Spread the word!!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Alex Wollangk


    Selfish? I get that nobody has the right to *demand* anyone else undergo organ donation, that was out of line but "How can any person be so selfish as to ask another person to donate a kidney?" seems to go too far in the other direction.

    I'm *VERY* seriously considering becoming a living donor. There's a program at the UW Hospital Transplant Center here in Madison, WI where I could donate a kidney and have it go to the person at the top of the UNOS list. I offered a kidney to a friend of mine (who happens to have a wife and a young daughter) but unfortunately wasn't a match for him. Donating to the UNOS list would at least move him (and everyone else on the list for a kidney) up by one.

    Do I think that this should make anyone else feel obligated to do the same? **!!NO!!** While I would donate an organ to my daughter in a heartbeat I would never feel *obligated* to do so and if anyone told me I *was* obligated they'd get a piece of my mind. It's a personal decision, but one that should be made with as much good information as possible. Articles like this one provide that information.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Kim

    My sister lost a kidney to cancer in 2008. If she ever needs a kidney transplant due to cancer in the remaining one, I will give her one of mine. I watched her recover from the surgery. She is doing very well and one would never know that she only has one kidney. You can live a normal life with one kidney. Donation is a wonderful thing.

    March 10, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Teresa

    I donated my left kidney to my Dad at the University of Maryland on January 28, 2009. I'm also a mother to two teenage boys as well as a step-mother to a teenage girl. This was the most incredible experience of my life! My husbands support was invaluable and he was my anchor. For those that have lost a loved one to illness and felt utterly hopeless; you can understand that as living donors we feel blessed to be able to help ours in such an extraordinary way. For those non-directed donors- God Bless! I am 39 and my life has been changed in ways I couldn't have imagined. There is much less grey area in my life now. I see life and people with such clarity and what's important to me has taken on new meaning! Open your heart and register as an organ donor. You can't take your organs to Heaven, Heaven knows we need them here!

    March 10, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Cortney

    In 1993, my mom who was 26 at the time was told her kidneys were failing. She began dialysis and later on that year received a kidney transplant only to have it reject about 3 weeks later. My mom, who also had type 1 diabetes since she was 9 years old remained on dialysis but was fortunate enough to receieve a pancreas transplant during the same surgery and did not have to be on insulin for 7 yrs, the pancreas did eventually reject. During the summer of 2002 Mom receieved a kidney transplant from a cadaver and was free of dialysis for 6 years. She was finally able to enjoy a family vacation without having to schedule dialysis elsewhere and she wasn't exhausted after having a 3 hr treatment. She was free. We were all so very thankful. In 2009 my mom started dialysis again, she knew evetually this would happen because 6 years is considered good for a cadaver kidney. One of my friends and my aunt were being considered for her third transplant. Unfortunately, my mom passed away in February at the age of 43. She had been through so much but never lost her hope and perserverance of surviving. She truly is the strongest person I have known. I'm 23 years old and will always be an organ donor, it saved my moms life. To those of you who have so unselfishly donated or who have tried to donate I commend you. You have given someone new life and hope.

    March 10, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. judith

    My fiance's ex-wife donated a kidney to him and did nothing as far as rehabilitation or any thing she was supposed to do afterward. She was not disabled, but, she claimed she was disabled and through PA Law, if a spouse becomes disabled during the marriage, they must be supported for the rest of their life. He hired a PI and had 2 evaluations done. One in person with the Medical Evaluator and 1 from the tapes that the PI took and those showed that she was not disabled. The way the laws are, it was like fighting a losing battle. $1,100 per mo in alimony.

    March 10, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Donna

    My mother donated a kidney to my sister in 1969. In 1987, I donated a kidney to my sister after her kidney started to fail after two pregnancies. My sister passed away in 2000 not from kidney failure, but from other complications. To this date, my mother (now 82) and I (56) are doing excellent healthwise...with absolutely no regrets in donating a kidney (during the 'experimental stage" of kidney transplantation) to give my sister a chance to live life, to marry, and to have two wonderful sons to carry on her legacy.

    March 10, 2010 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Stewbie

    I donated to my daughter in 1999 when she was 12. Do to recurring FSGS she lost the kidney and almost her life within 22 months. In 2004, I had the first of 4 heart attacks. UNOS would like you to believe that your quality of life post donation is better, I differ. I was told by a medical researcher that any major surgery, like a Nephrectomy, your chances of major medical issues goes up by 50%. My daughter now 22 lives her life on dialysis and I live with a blood clot in my heart. With this being said, I still would donate again, if I could.

    March 10, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Michele

    I knew a wonderful man who at age 72 declined to be placed on a kidney transplant list, although in otherwise very good health, because of the shortage of available kidneys. He thought they should be allocated to younger beneficiaries. I agreed with his decision although I miss him.
    As a former life insurance agent I am also very concerned that donors,
    especially the self-employed, i.e., self-insured, must suffer from insurance company bias for health, life, disability and LTC policies. Insurance actuaries need to come forth and explain why having just one functioning kidney is a good reason to substantially increase premiums or deny insurance to people (donors) who act with such generosity and goodwill.

    March 10, 2010 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Tammy

    I donated a kidney a year and a half ago to a lady that I bowled with for one week. I was tested for everything under the sun. I am completely healthy and very proud of what I did. I wish that more people would donate. It is very easy and usually you pay nothing. I went home after 2 days and was back at work in 3 weeks. Remind everyone you know to donate upon death. They can't use them when they have passed on so they might as well save lives!

    March 10, 2010 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Jennifer

    John: No one should ever be asked to donate.

    Volunteering to donate is one of the greatest things a person can do. Most Christian denominations are in favor of living donation.

    Keep in mind that dialysis is covered under Medicare regardless of age. Most people can last decades on dialysis. At a cost of $200k a year, the savings are immediately realized.

    I hope to be a living donor in the near future. My 28 year old husband has been waiting for two years for a retransplant. We are participating in the Alliance for Paired Donation kidney swap program.

    Anyone interested in donation should contact the Alliance for Paired Donation or the nearest transplant center for information.

    Potentially, you could opt to participate in a paired swap, where two transplants or more would be performed because your unselfish act.


    In regards to the health care exclusion, perhaps CNN could do a follow up to bring attention to that issue. As a fertile female participating in a large group plan, my insurance doesn't have the option to charge me any more a month once I am down a kidney.

    March 10, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jay

    I did a non-directed donation in Dec of 2008. I have had zero health issues since the donation. It was a great experience and I feel honored to be among the select group of folks caring enough to give a piece of themselves to another human being. I just wish I had more to give!

    March 10, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Joy

    I donated my right kidney to my father on September 15, 2009. It's almost 6 months and we're both doing FANTASTIC! Recovery for the donor is much more difficult than for the recipient but I would do it all again in a heartbeat! I was so glad to be able to do this for my father and I'm even more glad it's over.

    March 10, 2010 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. susann

    My sister donated her kidney to me seven years ago. She was a perfect match . I was 53 then and she and I are doing great. I was on dialysis for 2 years and was dying. She saved my life. I did not have to ask her for a kidney. She told me the day i found out my kidneys were failing due to polycistic kidney disease that she would give me one of hers. JOHN I FEE/L SORRY FOR YOU.I am a christain and i know GOD desires for us to help one another. Evidently you have not been to a dialysis center a day in your ....

    March 10, 2010 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jim Potoski

    Last week my 56-year-old sister celebrated 22 years of kidney tranplantation. Her donor was deceased – but still, 22 years is a remarkable milestone. Think of the limited research and technology at that time. The doctors in Pittsburgh did an amazing job back then and continue to do stellar work. A few years ago my boss donated one of her kidneys to a person she barely knew. That kind of generosity should not go unnoticed. Stopping chronic kidney disease in its tracks is all about redefining prevention.

    March 10, 2010 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Lisa

    I donated my left kidney to a friend seven years ago. He has since died, not due to complications, that day was the hardest for me. I am as healthy as I have ever been. I can't imagine why anyone would not do this if they feel they want to. My life has not changed at all. The nurses and surgeons were wonderful.

    Don't take your organs with you, heaven knows we need them here.

    http://www.livingdonorsonline.org has excellent information for anyone who is looking to donate any organ. They were a godsend for me.

    March 10, 2010 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jim

    I donated a kidney on March 3, 1977 to my sister. Back then there was little data on donors , but her being my sister made the choice easy. She lived with my kidney for 30 yrs and passed away from an unrelated cause. I have never had a kidney issue of any kind.

    March 10, 2010 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Eric

    I'm 28 and found out I have stage 4 kidney disease almost two years ago. While I am not on dialysis yet, I worry about it every day. I have no brothers or sisters, so finding a direct match will be hard if I get a living donor. Reading this article about complete strangers donating a life saving organ really warms my heart and reassures me that there is so much good left in this world.

    March 10, 2010 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Suzanne

    I donated a kidney to my father is 2001. He is now 82 and doing great. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to help him when he needed me, as he was always there when I needed him.

    For those considering donating, there is minimal pain involved and the reward is immeasurable. I took the bar in Ohio and flew down to Miami Memorial Jackson the next day. Surgery was performed a day or two later and I started practice three weeks after surgery and have never looked back.

    Please consider live donation.

    March 10, 2010 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. kevin

    Donation are great but do not be fooled about the risks of any operation.Please research your Doctor with a fine tooth comb.My father was in hospital last year for 4 months because of kindney failure
    Doctors finally made a decision to remove his kidney and not do a donation why? do not know.Doctors knicked the colon during surgery and doctors did nothing about it for 5 days infections from the colon overwhelmed his body and end up passing away 1 month later Doctors like they had not a care in the world what was happening . All the doctors and nurses new was to give him more and more morphine which actually morphines destroys organ cells but morphine is just a bandage for doctors anyhow a easy out.This was done here in Las Vegas at Summerlin hospital.

    March 10, 2010 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nell

    I received a cadaver kidney at Emory University Hospital 13 years ago this July. I was on peritoneal dialysis for 30 months before receiving the transplant. I have had a normal life and will be forever grateful to the family that made the decision to donate the kidney of their loved one.

    Note on your driver's license that you would like to be a kidney doner!!!!

    March 10, 2010 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anonymous

      Or go to organdonor.gov and sign up there – it takes about five minutes! You can indicate any organs you DON'T want donated. You don't have to give a reason.

      July 29, 2010 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
  41. Kelly

    I donated my kidney to my friends 3 yr old daughter in May 2009 via open nephrectomy. I unfortunatly have nerve damage in the incision area that the hospital cannot explain how or why it happened. My pain is there 24/7. The hospital is paying for follow up treatment but I sometimes wonder that if I had to rely on my personal insurance if they would cover any of the cost for physical therapy since my surgery was my choice and is considered a pre existing condition. I think heath care needs to revise how living donors are treated and covered for any and all care for the many years after our donation. Despite my complication I would do it all over again and would donate my other kidney if I could. Living Donors are a wonderful group of people and I am glad that I am part of the "club". Best wishes to all those who are nearing their date to donate and to those who are just starting the process.

    March 12, 2010 at 05:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Helen

    My brother donated one of his kidneys to me in 2003. We did very well post-transplant and he returned to work in record time. We are both doing great 7 years later. The transplant has allowed me to enjoy the "gift of life" and experience special life events - see my daughter graduate from college and marry a wonderful man, celebrate with my husband our 25th and 30th wedding anniversaries, enjoy our son and his family, the youngest of which was born 6 years ago and named after my brother.

    I was 56 at the time of the transplant and my brother was 45. My kidney function was below 15% due to polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and the transplant was performed before I had to go on dialysis. I never expected to receive a living donor kidney! I was UNOS listed (and overwhelmed with emotion) when my brother asked to fly from the west coast to my east coast medical center to be evaluated as my donor. We lost our father 25 years ago to PKD after he spent 5 years on dialysis. Our uncle wanted to be a living donor for him, but was not a match for our dad. I was the first in our family to receive an organ transplant. Five years ago, our cousin received a living-donor kidney from her daughter. Life is good!

    More than 100,000 women, men and children are on the UNOS list awaiting live-saving organ transplants. Please support organ donation!

    March 13, 2010 at 14:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Eden

    I am giving a kidney to my sister in three weeks! She has been on dialysis for about a year and a half. I am 34 and healthy and can't wait to see my sister truly feel good again. After this surgery is over, I plan to get involved in public education on this subject. I didn't know the first thing about this process etc. before my sister found out that she had a need. Now that I know what I know, I want to share it with others! Please pray for us and those of you out there in need of a kidney, hang in there and know that there are folks out there that care. I found a great website, http://www.kidneymama.com that is great for potential donors to hear from other people who have donated.

    March 18, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Anonymous

    What the article didn't mention is that your life is not quite the same after a kidney donation, even if the surgery goes smoothly. You are advised against taking any NSAID drugs (Aleve, Motrin, aspirin) for the rest of your life, since they're linked to kidney failure. You should also avoid foods with high-fructose corn syrup. In fact, you may have to follow a regimen that's similar to someone with chronic kidney disease. Your remaining kidney will grow to compensate for the other one, and may perform at close to 100% (65% is considered "normal"). However, that's your ONLY kidney now – so you'll have to be very careful with it. Dialysis patients can live for several years without transplant. I'm a kidney patient, and I would hesitate to let anybody donate their live kidney to me (so far it hasn't been an issue). It's a big, big deal. If my liver failed, that would be different, because otherwise I would die immediately. But kidney patients can often wait a while. Do the research before you do the good deed.

    July 29, 2010 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. michel dorothy

    I fell in love with a beautiful 27 year old man who touched my life,shortly after he called to tell me he has ckd.. Due to undiagnosed high blood pressure. We are dating for a month and while his kidneys are operating at about 20%, he will need an organ donor, his dad and mom will see if their a match, the only reason, I am not going is because I plan to marry and have children with him...I love him... I am on top of him about his diet and health. His family and I are praying for a miracle...

    November 2, 2010 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. shanecka

    where do you go to get tested to donate a kidney?

    October 10, 2014 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Michael

    This is a true life story about me and Dr.William Mckane, who i gave one of my kidneys to for money and he paid me some good amount of money few days before the transplant took place, i read about how Doctor Mckane compensated someone heavily by giving his kidney by one Mike Steve who said any one who is interested should give it a trial and come back to testify, i copied the email as mckanekidneytransplantcenter@gmail.com and emailed him in less than a three hours i got a reply from Doctor and we bargained and i took a bold step taking all the necessary agreements, in another few days i got paid as agreed by the both of us and a date were taken for operation, he came to my country and operated on me without any issues and i got my balance money, i am now financially settle and firm, please do not hesitate in contacting Doctor for a help on mckanekidneytransplantcenter@gmail.com My financial problem is over in life.
    Michael James, from Malaysia

    February 25, 2016 at 08:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Santos Hufana

    It would be of disservice if i fail to thank Dr Williams who bought off one of my kidneys
    for a huge amount of money in late 2016, i got to know about him on the internet via
    mckanekidneytransplantcenter@gmail.com and gave him a trial, we came into agreement in-less
    than a week the agreement soar like eagle and perfect in all sides, i got an advance payment
    in my account which i never believed before then, but it works.Dr Williams made is possible
    before the operation took place and it was a success, for this,i will always be grateful to
    him ad my family members for their ceaseless prayer. Here is Williams contact in case you need
    it mckanekidneytransplantcenter@gmail.com i am Santos Hufana from Philippines

    February 21, 2017 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply

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