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What if My Kidney Donor Lives Far Away from Me?

EJ Tamez

If you have a potential living kidney donor but they live far away from you, it’s important to let them know that they don’t have to come to where you are—they can donate close to home.

Through the National Kidney Registry’s remote donation program, donors can have their testing and donation surgery performed at a nearby transplant center, as long as that center participates in the NKR’s remote donation program.

Remote kidney donation is a type of living kidney donation where the donor and recipient are not in the same geographical location. This can happen for several reasons, such as the recipient needing a transplant but living far away from the potential donor, or the donor wanting to donate to someone they don’t know personally.

If your potential donor is approved for donation surgery and found to be a match for you, or if they are not a match but are donating on your behalf through the Voucher Program, you can each have your surgery at a transplant center convenient to you.

The NKR offers safe, fast, GPS-tracked transportation for donated kidneys and will be able to make sure the donated kidney is safely transported from the donor’s transplant center to your transplant center so your transplant surgery can take place.

How Do I Find a Center That Offers Remote Kidney Donation?

If you have a potential donor who lives far away from you and wants to know more about remote donation, there are two easy ways to find a participating center.

Search for a kidney transplant center offering remote donation

NKR's Kidney Transplant Center Website

Tell your donor to visit the NKR’s Kidney Transplant Centers website (https://www.kidneytransplantcenters.org) and select the “Donor” tab.

They’ll see a list of transplant centers, along with several categories listed. If a kidney transplant center participates in the remote donation program, there will be a green circle with a check in the “NKR Remote Donation” column for that center’s row.

NKR's Kidney Transplant Centers Website

To search for a remote donation participant center near a particular location, enter the ZIP code in the search field in the red box. Adjust the slider to choose the search range, then check the box beside “Remote Donation Available” and click “Apply Filters.”

The website will provide a list of every transplant center that offers remote donation in the region specified.

See a map of kidney transplant centers offering remote donation

map of kidney transplant centers offering remote donation

Tell your donor to visit the map of remote donation centers on the NKR website to see a United States map showing all transplant centers that participate in remote donation.

Zoom in or click on one of the “cluster” circles to see more detail. 

If you have a potential donor who lives far from you, be sure to speak to your transplant coordinator about the remote donation program to see if this option is available to you.