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Save a Life by Being a Living Organ Donor

Updated on April 21, 2015

The Importance of Being an Organ Donor

My life was saved by a living organ donor - Twice! I was diagnosed with end stage renal disease (Kidney Failure) in April of 1996. Dialysis was promptly started while the search for a kidney donor began. Without a second thought, my parents decided they would be tested as potential living organ donors.

Although, both parents were matches, it was ultimately decided my father had the stronger kidney. On April 4th, 1997, at the age of 16, I received his kidney. A few complications during surgery shortened the life of the organ. My doctors expected about 5 years from my new kidney. I refused to give up so easily. I wasn't ready to lose the gift my father gave me.

In 2004, I was diagnosed with chronic rejection. By January of 2006, after 9 long years, I lost the battle and was once again hooked up to a dialysis machine.

This time was different. I only had to endure 4 short months of treatment because I already had a kidney waiting for me. On May 11th, 2006, I received my 2nd kidney from my mother.

My parents are two examples of selfless individuals who put their young daughter ahead of everything else. I've been very lucky in life and have learned to appreciate who and what I have.

Unfortunately, there are so many others out there who still waiting for the precious gift of life. Being a living organ donor and signing your donor card is one the most important gifts you can give.


Photo Credit: Donatelife.net

Being a living organ donor

Offers a great alternative for those awaiting transplantation

Donate Life
Donate Life

Being a Living Organ Donor

Being a living organ donor extends hope to those awaiting a life saving transplant. Living donors are healthy people who volunteer to donate a whole organ (usually a kidney) or a piece of another organ to help someone in need.

You first need to educate yourself regarding the donation process. Some points to consider are: testing, risks, and recovery. By fully understanding all steps involved, you are able to make a more informed decision and hopefully eliminate any fears.


Organ donation is a choice. You should never feel obligated or forced into donating.


A living donor must meet many qualifications. You must be in good physical and mental health. Free from high blood pressure, cancer, hepatitis, and HIV. You may also be asked to lose weight and stop smoking.

Once you've made the decision to donate, the recovery time can vary for each person. Typically, you will spend about four days in the hospital, resume regular activity within a month and return to work in 6 weeks.


A Living Donor

must first have a blood test to determine blood type compatibility with the recipient

Green Organ Donor Awareness

To be Considered for Donation

You will go through a few tests to determine your health and organ compatibility level. Each person is different and may require more or less testing.

Follow this -->Link<-- for a better understanding of testing and to view a blood compatibility chart

  • Tissue Typing

    Blood is drawn from you and the reciepent. Then the blood is matched (white blood cells) between six codes on the donor and recipient cells.

  • Cross-matching

    This test is done using your blood to see if the recipient will react to the donor organ. If positive, the donor and patient are incompatible because antibodies will attack the new organ and rejection will occur.

  • Antibody

    White blood cells from you are mixed with the recipients serum. This checks to see if the recipients antibodies will react to the antigens of the donor.

  • Urine

    In the case of kidney donation, urine is collected for 24 hours to determine kidney function.

  • X-Rays

    Are performed in order to check the function of the heart and lungs.

  • Psychological Evaluation

    This may be done to ensure each participate is ready for donation and fully understands the process.



First Living Organ Donation

The first living organ donation was December 23, 1954 (my birthday was exactly 26 years later!), when a kidney from one twin was successfully transplanted into his identical brother.

You Do Not Have to Be A Relative

Or even know the person.



Being Related is Not a Requirement

Being a living organ donor doesn't mean you need to be related to the person in need.


A non-related donor can be a spouse, in-law, friend, neighbor or anyone else close to you.

A non-directed donor is someone who makes the decision to donate without being related or even knowing the recipient.

Paired exchange donation occurs when you have two donors and two recipients who are incompatible. The recipients trade donors so each person receives the organ they need.




What Can I Donate? - Organ and Tissue Donations


Healthy People Can Donate any of the Following:


  • 1 Kidney (you have 2)

  • Portion of the liver

  • Lobe of a lung

  • Portion of the intestine

  • Portion of the Pancreas

  • Bone Marrow

  • Blood



March of Every Year is....

National Kidney Month

What is National Kidney Month

National Kidney month is designed to make you more aware of kidney health. The best thing you can do for you and your loved ones is too take care of yourself--- especially your kidneys.



Find a Kidney For Blake

Blake Loudenber needs a kidney transplant immediately. Blake is a 9 year old boy from Griffith, Indiana who has been waiting for his second kidney transplant for 8 years. He was born with polycystic kidney disease and has been on dialysis since he was 3 weeks old. If he does not receive a kidney immediately he will be stuck at the size of a five year of for the rest of his life. His condition is life threatening and this sweet little boy has not been able to have a normal life, let alone childhood, due to his debilitating disease.

I do not know Blake nor his family. I've been following his story on Facebook and wanted to help spread the word. Please read and share his story.

Update:

March 14, 2013, Blake received his new kidney. It just so happened to also be on World Kidney Day. He is living proof, miracles really do happen!

Would You Ever

Donate to someone in need?

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Share Your Thoughts - Feel free to ask any questions you may have.

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    • profile image

      Joe 6 months ago

      Im sitting in my dialysis chair and stumbled across your site. May God bless you. We know this life isnt easy but you, like me, have never givrn up. Im hoping to have a few people tested soon and im.listed. so well see. Thank you for sharing your story and spreading awareness.

    • vasmenon profile image

      vasmenon 2 years ago from India

      I have been a blood donor for nearly 25 years now, and was keenly observing the organ donation drives gaining momentum recently. Kerala in India, where I am from is leading by example in organ donation with so many stories coming up in the media about organ donation, but thats mostly about organs from dead people, I am thrilled to read about you being a recepient from live donors. Congrats for your life, and lots of luv and regards to your parents.

      I chanced upon your story while preparing to write a hub on organ donation, since I was getting ready to register and a live donor. Truely inspired by your story.....

    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      I think a lot of people find the topic of donating their organs really hard, but it does save lives and it's only when someone they love is affected that they realise the full devastation a family feels when in this type of situation. I am lined up to be a kidney donor for my sister in law when she needs it (she has a condition that will eventually mean she needs a donor) and everyone can live with just one kidney providing the other is healthy. My brothers life was saved by a kidney donation as was my father in law's, so I won't hesitate to donate. I also give blood because it's so painless yet so helpful!

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @rebelleT: Thank you very much! I'm honored to have been your first like! :D

    • profile image

      rebelleT 4 years ago

      You are my first squidlike! I enjoyed reading about you and your wonderful parents. This is proof, there is goodness in people. Thanks for allowing me to read all about your struggles.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @SarLew: I appreciate your comment, hopefully my story helps others :)

    • profile image

      SarLew 4 years ago

      What a great story for you to be willing to share with the world. I wish you continued health, bless you!

    • profile image

      evilchameion 4 years ago

      @tooshay4: I agree completely.

    • profile image

      evilchameion 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I really like this lens too. It made me think of how good my life is compared to other people. I wish you continued health and well being.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thanks for reading my lens :)

    • Mommy-Bear profile image

      Mommy-Bear 4 years ago

      I am a registered organ donor and I wouldn't give it a second thought if one of my children was in need and I could help!

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you :)

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you :)

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you for visiting :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice storie and great to share with all

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      nice storie and great to share with all

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @SarLew: Thank you! I really appreicate your comment :)

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @Cynthia Haltom: Thanks, I really do hope more people take the time to even consider the idea.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: thank you!

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @NickiGill: I agree.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @fortisurology: Thanks!

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you very much. It's not an easy thing to go through. I hope others can take comfort in knowing they aren't alone.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Another very good lens. From time to time when I'm dealing with families the subject comes up. I will forward this to them. I think it would be helpful for people to read something from someone who has gone through the experience. I wish you continued health and all good things.

    • profile image

      fortisurology 4 years ago

      Thanks for the excellent lens. There are mainly two types of donation that a person can opt for; the first choice for most patients is to get a living donor kidney. In this case, it is usually one of the patients family members who donates a kidney. This process is fairly faster and easier because the legalities and waiting time are far lesser. If a patient does not have a donor within the family, then they can opt for a cadaver donation .This means that the patient can receive a kidney from a person who is declared brain dead. A domino transplant is a rare medical procedure involving different donors and recipients. The transplants are carried out one after another, till the last donor in the chain donates to the first recipient.

    • NickiGill profile image

      NickiGill 4 years ago

      Perhaps if they reversed the system by having to opt out of being an organ donar rather than opt in, more people would be on the organ donar list.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      like this lens. like the info u have given. everyone should be organ donor

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Very informative you make a lot of good point to being a living organ donor, it is something that everyone needs to consider.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @gadifi lm: Thank you. Having an illness really taught me how to enjoy life!

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      That was a great lens especially people who goes through a big ordeal to live we have to live life to the fullest at this moment and not to take life for granted

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @geosum: Thank you for deciding to be an Organ Donor. I'm registered to be a donor upon my death.. I'm not allowed to be a living donor :D .. I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 4 years ago

      I'm 76. I've signed up to be a donor when I die. I'm not too interested in doing anything while I'm still alive. My only living blood relative is a few years older than I am. I'd just as soon pass on in peace.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @TapIn2U: Thank you! I really appreciate your visit :)

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 4 years ago

      Simply inspiring! Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @tooshay4: Thank you :)

    • profile image

      SarLew 4 years ago

      This is such a great lens. It really reminds me to NEVER take life for granted.

    • profile image

      tooshay4 4 years ago

      Bless you for having been through so much. I can't begin to imagine what it woul dbe like to experience an illness like yours. Very good lens.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @mailmetoo: Thank you :)

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @mailmetoo: Great! I can't wait to see more lenses from you :)

    • profile image

      mailmetoo 4 years ago

      @netangel: yes you do

    • profile image

      mailmetoo 4 years ago

      @netangel: Thx for the support, I think I am getting the hang of it.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you, Mihn.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thanks!

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: My brother waited quite a while until he received his cadaver kidney. Being an organ donor is a great selfless act!

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @mailmetoo: Thank you and welcome to Squidoo. Writing your first lens can be overwhelming but it gets easier. I promise!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I agree, it's very important to spread the word on organ donation. My sister waited for 6 years before she received a kidney. All of our family was willing to donate but no one matched.

    • profile image

      mailmetoo 4 years ago

      I just joined squidoo and began browsing what others have to say. I stumbled upon this and realized squidoo is much more than I thought. So, far I'm working on an "about me" lens but I am struggling with what to add, so here I am. I really did enjoy reading this and about your experience. Thank you for posting it.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @milli-kett: Thank you very much, Milli :)

    • milli-kett profile image

      milli-kett 4 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your story, thank you for sharing.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @toptopbob: Thank you very much, toptop!

    • profile image

      toptopbob 4 years ago

      Nice story of you to share. You really are blessed. -toptop

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @EvilZombieMonkey: Thank you. I'm looking forward to reading your lenses!

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you very much.

    • profile image

      EvilZombieMonkey 4 years ago

      Great lens, very inspiring to a new lens master like me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Chazzzie: I agree I am also an organ donor so happy to found this writing

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      amazing story you write. good luck 2 you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      amazing story you write. good luck 2 you.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @nick-white-kcmo: Thank you very much :D

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @Chazzzie: That is good to hear. Thank you for stopping by :)

    • profile image

      Chazzzie 4 years ago

      Such a nice story to write. I am an organ donor and have been for many years.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you very much for your kind words. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your brother. It's amazing how medicine has advanced over the years. I know I am truly blessed. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am touched by your inspiring story. I came about this page through a facebook share from a friend. Many years ago, when I was a young child, we lost my baby brother to heart failure. This was at a time when donating ones organs upon death wasn't very common and almost unheard of. In the late 1960s transplantation was still a new medical advancement. There were times when I wished my brother had lived even a few more years and maybe he would have received a new heart and be here today. I accepted his fate and do what I can to give back and promote organ donation. I commend you for sharing your own personal story and letting others know just how important it is to give someone else a new lease on life. God as blessed you, may he continue to do so! Thank you for writing this story.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @floppypoppygift1: Thank you very much :)

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image

      floppypoppygift1 4 years ago

      Whoa~ what an awesome story. I am a registered organ donor. Congrats on your new lease on life :) Cheers~cb

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @graphite75: Thank you, I really hope others decide to donate their organs :)

    • graphite75 profile image

      Tom 4 years ago

      Wow, you've gone through a lot. Your story really shows the importance of organ donation.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @Fridayonmymind LM: It is really important for your family to know your wishes. I'm glad you and your family have talked about it. :)

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @OrlandoTipster: Yes it would.

    • OrlandoTipster profile image

      OrlandoTipster 4 years ago

      It would be great if DMV offices did more to encourage organ donation.

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 4 years ago

      I am totally in favour of organ donation. It's so important to have that conversation with loved ones, even if they have given their consent. We have done that.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @GregoryMoore: Here in FL, you consent and your DL says "organ donor" on the front.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 4 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I just renewed my drivers license due to a change of address, and they are asking you up front if you want to be an organ donor now. You don't have to sign the back of your license here in KY to consent any more. You consent at renewal. Great idea.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @CoolFool83: Thanks :)

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      Such a thoughtful and wonderful idea!

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @DeborahDian: :) I feel the need to let others know the importance of organ donation.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 4 years ago from Orange County, California

      Bless you for supporting organ donations!

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @Carpenter76: Thanks :)

    • Carpenter76 profile image

      Carpenter76 4 years ago

      Very impressive lens.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @sue826 lm: I really do hope so. Even if it helps one person make the decision, that's one more person who may be saved. Thanks for the visit :)

    • sue826 lm profile image

      sue826 lm 4 years ago

      Your lens will hopefully motivate more people to be organ donors - really good lens.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @Elyn MacInnis: Thank you very much. My mom is an amazing person (and so is my dad!). I've always said, they gave me life 3 times! I know how lucky I am :) Here in FL, we also have the option of adding "organ donor" to our DL, it definitely says it on mine.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @LiliLove: Thank you so much! I appreciate it :)

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @leesholden: Thank you for visiting. My goal is to get the word out regarding organ donation. :)

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @dellgirl: Thank you very much!

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      Congratulations on getting the Purple Star for this lens! Nice work, thanks for sharing. ~Blessed~

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      Congratulations on getting the Purple Star for this lens! Nice work, thanks for sharing. ~Blessed~

    • leesholden profile image

      Lee 4 years ago from Derbyshire, UK

      Really touching lens, thanks for sharing your story with us all

    • LiliLove profile image

      LiliLove 4 years ago

      Great lens. Thanks for sharing your story. Blessed!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      You story is very touching - and I am impressed by your Mom - who has given birth to you twice. In Rhode Island, they put your willingness to be an organ donor on your drivers license. I signed up. Blessings to you - I know you are a very special person.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @LouisaDembul: They are really special! Thanks for stopping by.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @tedwritesstuff24: She's very lucky to have found someone to donate :) Thank you for visiting!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 4 years ago

      You have wonderful parents who wanted to help you so much by donating their kidneys!

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      I worked with a lady who was kind, brave and selfless enough to be a living donor to a non relative. Your story and hers are inspirational.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: My family is amazing! Thank you very much for your comment and visiting :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      you have a very supporting family, you are lucky. By reading this, I see you know how lucky you are.

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Thank you so much.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @drmork: Thank you!

    • netangel profile image
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      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @greytdogz: Thank you for visiting and thank you for signing your organ donor card.

    • netangel profile image
      Author

      Melissa 4 years ago from Florida

      @Jo-Jackson: Thank you :)

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      Wonderful story. You are very lucky to be here.