Can I Speak to a Living Kidney Donor Before I Donate a Kidney?
If you are considering becoming a living kidney donor, you may have doubts and concerns about the process. There is an abundance of information about kidney donation, but sometimes it’s difficult to find firsthand information about the experience from those who have already donated. Donor Connect can help.
Donor Connect is a free, optional program offered by the National Kidney Registry that gives donor candidates the option to speak with a donor mentor. A donor mentor is a living kidney donor who can explain the process, answer questions, offer insights, and provide education based on their own kidney donation experience.
Donor mentors can answer questions about a wide range of topics related to living kidney donation, including:
- How to talk to your family and friends about your decision to donate
- Support, assistance, and resources available to living donors
- The testing you’ll undergo to be approved as a donor
- What to expect during the donor surgery
- The emotional and psychological aspects of kidney donation
- How long the recovery process is and how soon you’ll be back to 100%
- Whether donating a kidney will require any long-term lifestyle changes
Donor mentors are assigned as part of the donor registration process, though you may opt out if you do not wish to be connected with a donor mentor. Donors must register through an NKR website to receive this living donor assistance.
Why Use Donor Connect?
Donor Connect offers a number of benefits for potential donors, including:
Firsthand Insights: Potential donors gain invaluable insights from individuals who have experienced the donation process, helping them make informed decisions.
Emotional Support: Donor mentors can offer emotional support and reassurance, addressing any concerns or fears a potential donor may have.
Community Building: Donor Connect can connect potential donors with a local and nationwide network of kidney donors who can offer support, advice, and encouragement throughout the kidney donation journey and beyond.
Increased Confidence: Donors who utilize the Donor Connect service are more likely than other donor candidates to go through with the donation surgery because they are well-informed and feel more secure and supported in their decision.
To connect with a donor mentor for advice about living kidney donation, register as a donor through the NKR. Registering does not obligate you to go through with the donation. As part of the registration process, you will be offered the option to connect with a donor mentor who can answer questions, provide guidance, and help you make the right decision for you.