National Kidney Registry Launches Family Voucher Program, Providing Security for Donor Families

The National Kidney Registry (NKR) has successfully launched the Family Voucher Program, which allows donors to donate a kidney now and receive vouchers for immediate family members in case a family member ever needs a kidney transplant in the future.

Since this program launched in February, 52 donors have donated their kidneys as family voucher donors. The Family Voucher Program is now available at 22 NKR Member Centers.

The Family Voucher Program allows living kidney donors to name up to five immediate family members to receive vouchers when the donor donates their kidney. Should one of the voucher holders ever need a kidney transplant in the future, they will be prioritized for a living donor kidney through the National Kidney Registry. Only one voucher can be redeemed for each family voucher donor.

“For the last five years, the Standard Voucher Program has been a tremendous success, but it required the voucher donor to name a voucher holder who had some form of kidney impairment,” said Garet Hil, the Founder of the National Kidney Registry and a voucher donor himself. “That restriction has been eliminated with the Family Voucher Program. Now a donor can donate their kidney and provide up to five vouchers for healthy family members,” said Hil.

“Not only does this remove an important disincentive to living kidney donation, but it is the right thing to do for the generous people who are donating a kidney to a stranger. Donors can now donate a kidney and still provide security for their loved ones should they need a kidney transplant in the future,” said Dr. Jeff Veale, Director of the Paired Exchange Program at UCLA and the surgeon who organized the first voucher case at UCLA in 2014.

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