Kidney donation: what you get when you give
You’ve likely heard about the life-changing benefits of kidney donation for recipients. And the need has never been greater – COVID-19-related complications add to the already increasing number of individuals with kidney damage. Organ donation quite literally gives kidney patients a new lease on life.
But there are lots of benefits for kidney donors, too. Here are a few things you can get when you give.
Living organ donors of all kinds describe immensely positive feelings from knowing they’ve given someone the chance to live a better and potentially longer life after donation. Giving to others has also been shown in studies to boost your self-esteem.
When you donate a kidney, you impact the recipient’s life immediately – no waiting and wondering if your act of generosity will be received. We’ve seen many kidney patients return from donation surgery looking healthier than before!
Kidney donation surgery will be scheduled at a time that works for both the donor and the recipient. You’ll have time to make any arrangements you need to at work and home so you can fully recover from surgery.
While complications occasionally arise for donors after transplant surgery, kidney donation does not impact your life expectancy. The majority of donors go on to live full, active lives.
Become part of a connected community
When you donate a kidney, you become part of a community of life changers. Both donors and recipients can connect with each other in online forums like the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Donation community to share their experiences and ask questions.
While you can enjoy the emotional satisfaction of changing someone’s life by becoming a kidney donor, you won’t receive money for your generosity. In the United States, it’s illegal to receive monetary compensation for organ donation of any kind. It’s important that you give the decision a lot of thought to be sure you’re 100 percent comfortable with it and you’re doing it for reasons you believe in.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of kidney donation and whether you could be a candidate for donation.