Altruistic Living Donor

An altruistic or non-directed kidney donor is a person who wishes to donate a kidney to a person with advanced kidney disease, who he or she does not know. Many non-directed donors do not know anyone personally who is in need of a kidney transplant.

On many occasions, a donor who has come forward to donate to a family member or friend was unable to do so because another donor was available or the recipient was unable to receive a transplant for medical reasons. These individuals often continue to consider kidney donation and come forward as non-directed donors.

Non-directed donors can discuss various donation options with our team:

  • There are many recipients who are incompatible with their living donors. A non-directed donor can help by participating in a Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) and help multiple recipients receive a living donor transplant by starting a kidney exchange chain of transplants.
  • A non-directed donor can also consider donating to a person awaiting a deceased donor kidney transplant at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

Key Information for Donors

  • A potential donor must be over 18 years old, in good health and willing to donate.
  • An integral part of the donor workup is consultation with members of the Transplant Team, including a transplant coordinator, social worker and nephrologist as well as a donor advocate.
  • A potential donor can expect to have testing performed such as compatibility testing, blood work, urine testing, EKG, chest x-ray, and a renal CT scan.
  • Medical expenses related to evaluation, hospitalization and immediate follow-up care are covered under the recipient’s insurance.
  • Most donor surgeries can be performed using minimally invasive laparoscopic technique which takes about two hours. Surgery is followed by a two-day hospital stay and a recovery period of two to three weeks.

Patient Stories

  • Her donation was the start of a chain of kidney donations the led to three patients receiving life-saving kidney donations.

    Jane
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  • “It’s a wonderful thing. I have so much more energy now, and I have so much more time to myself."

    Timothy
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  • “I have so much more energy now, and I have so much more time to myself since I don’t have to plan my days around getting to a machine at a certain time.”

    Tim
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Patient Stories

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