written by
Harvey Mysel

The Answer to Increasing the Number of Kidney Transplants is Right Under Our Noses

Commentary 2 min read , November 20, 2020

Welcome to my Blog. If you are in need or are helping someone who needs a kidney transplant, I hope you will learn more about how to pursue a successful living kidney donation through these blogs. I established the Living Kidney Donors Network after recognizing the need for better resources when pursuing a successful living kidney transplant in 2007. My purpose is to share the knowledge I acquired and help you build confidence so you can realize the life-changing benefits of a transplant from a living donor. Solutions are in everyone’s grasp.

The good news is that before Covid-19, there were over 6,000 living kidney transplants performed every year… which means there are more than 16 people a day, 7 days a week, receiving a kidney from a living donor. Understanding why these people choose to donate and how they found out about the recipient’s need could be the answer to solving the shortage of available kidneys.

Hospital transplant programs inform their patients about the importance of finding a living donor. Most patients don’t have any idea how even to start a conversation with family or friends. The fear of asking someone to donate is the number one reason for not pursuing a living donation. In truth, patients rarely need to ask directly. Most living donors say they volunteered to donate once they heard about their family member’s or friends' needs. When kidney patients realize that they do not have to ask directly, they become more comfortable discussing their situation openly with everyone they know – exponentially increasing their chances of finding a living donor. There’s an online FREE program that helps those in need develop their kidney campaign. It’s called Having Your Donor Find YOU! That may sound like an unusual approach to living kidney donation. But this is what actually happens. By spreading the word about your need, Your Donor Finds YOU!

It is critical to developing better education and communication programs to help kidney patients spread the word about their need for a transplant. We must also educate the public about the need for living donors and the process of donation. Having accurate and detailed information makes a person more likely to become a donor when they hear that a friend or a family member needs a kidney.

Increasing the number of living kidney donors is the only way to reduce the current 5+ year wait for a kidney transplant and eventually eliminate the waiting list. The solution is “right under our noses.” I believe that educational programs for people who need a kidney transplant and a public awareness campaign about living kidney donation will increase the number of living kidney transplants.

When surveyed after the transplant, living donors can quickly respond that they would donate again, without hesitation. They are happy with their decision and say they feel a unique kind of pride and contentment - seeing firsthand what a profound impact their gift has had on another human being. A joy that confirms that it is better to give than receive.

Future blogs will help educate you about the living donation process and help you become more comfortable about speaking to family and friends about your need.

our insights delivered monthly.
Sign up for our newsletter