Become an Advocate
If you know someone in need of a kidney, it is likely that person is actively looking for a living donor. Perhaps you are not medically able to donate, or donating is simply not something you want to do at this time, but you still want to help in some way. Becoming an advocate is a great way to help if you are not in a position to donate.
The person you want to help has many things to deal with and should be focused solely on his/her mental and physical health prior to transplant, however, searching for a donor requires a great deal of work.
Ideally, the patient has a team that includes an administrator, a caregiver, and one or more donor recruiters.
- The administrator should manage all the insurance matters, medical records and other paperwork. This is incredibly important as these things must be well organized.
- The caregiver should oversee the patient’s medical needs and focus on keeping the patient healthy and positive. This role will grow significantly post-transplant.
- The recruiter(s) should focus on finding potential donors. This can be as involved as running the patient’s social media, organizing events, and/or talking to people face to face or as simple as sharing their need for a kidney on your own social media as the small ask (Can you share my friend’s need for a kidney?) is often just as important as the big ask (Will you donate a kidney to my loved one?).
The best way to find out how you can help someone in need of a kidney is by asking them how you can help.