Living organ donation dates back to 1954, when a kidney from one twin was successfully transplanted into his identical brother. Today, there are more than 6,000 living organ donors per year, and one in four of these donors isn’t biologically related to the recipient.
What's LifeGift's role in living donation?
- LifeGift is the federally-designated organ and tissue recovery agency, which offers hope to individuals needing transplants in 109 Texas counties in Southeast, North and West Texas.
- As an organ procurement organization (OPO), LifeGift deals primarily with the coordination of deceased organ recovery and transplantation; however, it continues to increase its role by being involved in the packaging and transportation of living donor kidneys.
- LifeGift is spearheading the Living Donor Collaborative, a collective effort among transplant centers to facilitate more living donor chains and kidney paired donations.
Why is living donation so important?
- Across the country, more than 120,000 men, women and children are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Eight two percent of these individuals are waiting for a kidney.
- Across the United States, 100,621 wait for kidneys; in Texas, that number is 10,653.
- Living organ donation and transplantation developed as a direct result of the critical shortage of deceased donors. Living donation offers an alternative for individuals awaiting transplantation from a deceased donor and increases the existing supply, saving more lives.
- LifeGift encourages those seeking to become living donors to aslo register as deceased donors via the Donate Life Texas Registry at www.donatelifetexas.org or at any Department of Public Safety office when obtaining or renewing a driver license or ID.
- Every day in this country, 22 people die waiting for an organ that did not come available. Living donation is key to decreasing the number of deaths on the national waiting list.
For more information about living donation, please visit The Living Bank at www.thelivingbank.org.
Sara Guzman’s relationship with donation began in 2007 when her husband, Julian, became ill. His doctors told him he needed a liver transplant and placed him on the waiting list. Sara was his caregiver and support system.
After 16 months, they received the call that a liver was waiting for him. Julian made a full recovery and was able to return to work full time with great health.
But in December 2009, he began to have kidney problems. He was evaluated and listed for a kidney transplant. Sara didn’t think twice about getting tested to see if she would be a match for her husband. And in March of 2011, they found out she was indeed a match. On July 27, 2011, Sara and Julian went to the hospital together and Julian received his wife’s gift of life, her kidney.
“I didn’t think twice about it. I would do it all over again,” Sara said.