Kidney Donor Search Tips
FindAKidney.org is run by living kidney donors and transplant recipients who know what it takes to find a living kidney donor. Here are some tips we’ve learned through hundreds of successful kidney donor searches:
Do not mention blood type when promoting your search for a kidney. Blood type incompatibility is no longer an issue. Donors can donate to a recipient with an incompatible blood type through the Voucher Program. Displaying your blood type may lead potential donors to believe they cannot donate to you.
Do not rule anyone out as a potential donor. If you know someone who might be willing to donate but you feel they have a health condition that would prevent them from donating, encourage them to get tested and let the transplant center determine if they are healthy enough to donate. For example, many transplant centers do not have age limits for donors or offer programs to help people become healthy enough to donate.
Be prepared to share some general information about kidney donation. When you are asking people to become a donor, they will have questions about the process. Your coach can help you write a brief overview to share with potential donors.
Tell potential donors about Donor Shield. Many donor support options, such as reimbursement for lost wages, travel expenses, and dependent care, are available to living donors.. They can learn more at www.donor-shield.org.
Always use the NKR.org microsite link when sharing your story. This link allows potential donors to easily and confidentially contact your transplant center directly to get screened for donation.
Never say you have a donor until the surgery is done. Things happen, medical issues occur, donors back out, and surgery can be cancelled. Saying you have a donor prematurely will turn away other potential donors.
Don’t try to talk someone into donating. If someone says no, their mind is made up. Thank them for listening and move on to other potential donors.
Tell your champions to share their reason for not donating. This is one of the first questions a potential donor will think about when approached by a champion, so champions should have a clear reason why they can’t donate.