There are 2 different types of kidney donors: living donors and donors who have died (deceased donors). Learning about the 2 types of donors will help you decide the type of kidney donation that’s right for you.
What is living kidney donation?
A living kidney donation is when a healthy person gives a kidney to someone who needs one.
This is possible because most people are born with 2 kidneys, but together, 2 kidneys can do more work than what the body needs. Living donors can live healthy, normal lives with 1 kidney.
Living donors often donate because they want the recipient to be healthier and have a better quality of life.
Who can be a living donor?
- A person over 18 years of age.
- A family member.
- A friend.
- A co-worker.
- A partner/spouse.
- An anonymous donor
Who is the best match?
A family member is usually the best match because you share the same genes, and the body is less likely to reject the kidney. But there’s no guarantee that a family member will be a good match. Many kidneys are donated by people who aren’t genetically related to the person getting the kidney (e.g., spouse or close friend).