Join our mailing list

LIVING DONATION

Donating a kidney to someone who urgently needs it is one of the most remarkable things you can do. Discover what’s involved and how to start your journey to becoming a donor.

Image of living kidney donor Celia smiling

Talking to friends and family

Donating a kidney is an incredible, potentially life-saving thing to do. A kidney from a living donor is the best current treatment option for most people who need a transplant. However, we know that it can be a difficult subject to raise with your friends and loved ones.

This page offers advice and recommendations to help you have important conversations about living kidney donation with those around you.

HOW DO I RAISE THE SUBJECT WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY?

We know it can be difficult to tell your loved ones that you are thinking about donating a kidney. One of the best ways to begin this conversation is to give everyone the facts:

Most of us are born with two kidneys, but we only need one kidney to lead a happy and healthy life.

Nearly 5,500 people are on the NHS waiting list for a kidney transplant.

Six people die every week waiting for a kidney.

It is worth explaining what you know, and how donating a kidney transforms lives. It is important to have open and honest conversations about both the benefits and risks of your decision, so that everyone is on the same page.

If they would like to know more or have questions that you aren’t able to answer, you can recommend they visit this website themselves and look at the pages that might help answer their questions, for example to discover how donating a kidney might affect you, or how safe living donation is.

And if they have further questions, you can also suggest inviting them to a meeting with both you and our Donor Relationship Manager. If you have already started your eligibility tests, you can also speak to your Transplant Coordinator at the transplant centre where you are being seen. They will have information about your individual circumstances and can talk to you and your loved ones in more detail.

EXPLAINING WHY A LIVING DONATION IS THE BEST OPTION WHEN DECEASED DONORS EXIST.

Some family members may wonder why you wish to donate a kidney when you could join the deceased donor registry.

Joining the deceased donor registry is still a wonderful thing to do, however in most cases a kidney donated by a living donor offers the best long-term outcome for the recipient. Studies have shown that the average patient survival at 10 years is 90 per cent with a living donor transplant, compared to 75 per cent after a deceased donor transplant – and both of these options are much better than having no transplant at all.

Again, it may be worth recommending that your loved ones read our page on living with one kidney after donating, as well as the stories of people whose lives have been transformed by having a living kidney transplant.

Related content

Ready to
Start Your
Journey?

GET IN TOUCH