Start a Chain

Family voucher donors almost always start chains and are rapidly becoming the predominant form of chain starter donors.

In a chain, a donor will donate to someone in need of a kidney who has someone willing to donate on their behalf but is incompatible or is a poor match. That paired donor will then donate to someone else in need of a kidney who has a donor willing to donate on their behalf and so on and so forth as exemplified in the diagram to the right.

One chain can facilitate anywhere from two to 30 transplants. Historically, donors that started chains were simply Good Samaritan donors, however, with the innovation of the Family Voucher Program, donors that start chains are much more likely to be family voucher donors.

Protections for Donors Who Start A Chain

All donors that start National Kidney Registry chains are prioritized for a living donor transplant in the extremely rare case they ever need a kidney transplant in the future. NKR donors are eligible for the support and protections covered by Donor Shield.