The waiting list for a deceased-donor kidney transplant continues to grow each year, but the number of available organs remains relatively stable. We are constantly trying to find ways to increase the number of organs available to our patients so they may avoid dialysis and a lengthy stay on the waiting list. Identifying and receiving a transplant from a live donor is one solution.
However, there are many barriers to identifying potential live donors. Barriers include:
- Discomfort discussing such a sensitive subject
- Fear of asking someone else for an organ
- Limited knowledge about the live donation process
We would like to help our patients overcome these barriers. For this reason, we have developed the Live Donor Champion program. In this program, each wait-listed patient will identify one other person to be their Live Donor Champion. We will provide both the patient and the Live Donor Champion with educational materials, business cards and other resources. We hope this will make the Live Donor Champion comfortable initiating conversations and spreading awareness about renal failure and live donation.
The hope is that the Live Donor Champion will ultimately be able to help their patient identify potential live donors.
Who can be a Live Donor Champion?
Anyone can be a Live Donor Champion. Most people identify a spouse, significant other, family member or friend as their Live Donor Champion. The only requirements are that the Live Donor Champion be at least 18 years old and speak English.
How does the Live Donor Champion Program work?
- The program consists of six meetings, held once per month.
- Each meeting will last approximately two hours.
- A different topic will be discussed at each meeting to help the Live Donor Champion and their patient find potential live donors.
- On their own, each Live Donor Champion and patient will use the information and skills learned at each session to begin looking for potential donors.
- Participants will be asked to keep a monthly log of their progress. They will also be encouraged to record what worked well for them and what did not.
- They will be provided with many opportunities to give feedback to the program coordinators.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. It is entirely free. We will provide a parking voucher to cover the cost of parking at the hospital during the meetings. Refreshments will also be provided at every meeting.
No. Your care will be identical whether or not you choose to participate in this program. Our hope is that this program will help you find a living donor so you may receive a transplant more quickly.
There are no medical risks associated with the program. We will be discussing sensitive subjects at the meetings, and some participants may feel uncomfortable. We will encourage every participant to keep the meeting discussions confidential, and only participants and program staff members will be at the meetings. You may decline participation at any time if you feel uncomfortable or no longer wish to attend the sessions.
- Meeting 1: Introduction to Kidney Transplantation and Live Donation
- Meeting 2: Initiating a Conversation with Potential Live Donor Candidates
- Meeting 3: Whom Should I Speak to? Identifying a Social Network
- Meeting 4: Success Stories: Live Donor and Recipient Panel
- Meeting 5: Program Recap