Living Kidney Donor Program

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Helping Make Kidney Transplants Available to Those Who Need Them

More than 100,000 people across the U.S. – and around 170 people at Baystate Medical Center – are waiting for kidney transplants right now.

The living kidney donor program at Baystate Medical Center is helping to make kidney transplants available to those who need them. Healthy kidneys tend to last longer and function better than kidneys from donors who have passed away.

Our expert multidisciplinary team provides the highest quality of personalized care as we guide patients through their journey from evaluation to surgery and recovery.

Interested in being a living kidney donor? Read on!

Are you a patient looking for a living kidney donor? Learn strategies for finding a living donor and how to get started through our Living Donor Champion Program.

Register to be a Living Kidney Donor

How to Donate a Kidney

Step 1: Start the process by completing our online referral form. You will need to provide information about your medical and social history to help us determine if you are a candidate for living donation. If you are unable to complete the form, please call our office at 413-794-2321 to begin the living donor process.

Step 2: Before beginning your living donor medical evaluation, we will need verify that you are up to date on your health screenings. Health screenings, such as a colonoscopy, mammogram, pap smear, etc., are recommended screenings by the American Cancer Society. What screenings are needed depend on your age and gender.

Step 3: Attend an education session and a comprehensive living donor evaluation appointment where you will meet with members of the multidisciplinary team including the surgeon, nephrologist (kidney doctor), nurse coordinator, independent living donor advocate, social worker, and financial coordinator. Laboratory testing and various medical testing will be completed as part of the evaluation.

Step 4: After the evaluation is complete, our team will review and determine if you are a candidate for living donation surgery. This comprehensive evaluation can take several months to complete. 

Types of Kidney Donations

Direct Donation: A living donor donates directly to a recipient at our center.

Non-Directed Donation: A living donor donates but does not have a specific intended recipient.

Paired Kidney Exchange: A living donor and recipient are not compatible and enter into an exchange where incompatible recipients exchange donors.

Advanced Donation: A living donor donates at a time that works best for them. The recipient receives a voucher for a kidney soon after or into the future when they need it.

Costs of Living Donation

Living donors are not billed for costs related to the evaluation, surgery or immediate recovery from living donor surgery.

For donors that are traveling long distance, missing work or may be experiencing some other type of financial burden related being a living donor, there may be financial assistance programs available. These programs may be able to assist with the cost of travel, lodging, and meals and in some instances can help to replace income lost during the donation process. More information on these resources will be provided during the evaluation process.

Living Donor Champion Program

How to Find a Living Donor

If you are one of the thousands of people waiting for a kidney transplant, a living donor could save your life. Asking someone to donate their kidney to you may seem overwhelming and uncomfortable. The Baystate Health Living Donor Champion Program can help you in your search for a living donor.

How to find a living donor?

  • Learn about living donation
  • Spread the word – with individual conversations, reaching out to larger groups, using social media and advertising
  • Create a microsite (personalized website)
  • Find a living donor champion
  • Host a living donor champion workshop for family and friends to help you spread the word
What is a Donor Champion?

A living donor champion is a family member, friend, or loved one who takes the lead in finding you a living donor, allowing you to focus on your health. A living donor champion can help you spread the word through individual conversations, reaching out to larger groups, advertising, and using social media.

What is a living donor champion workshop?
  • Facilitated by a member of the living donor team
  • Can be in-person, virtual or a combination of both
  • Audience of anyone who might be interested in learning more about living donation or becoming a champion. For example: family and friends, co-worker groups, church or community groups
  • An opportunity for your story to be shared

We know finding a living donor is challenging and our team members are here to guide and support you and your living donor champion.

For more information on the Living Donor Champion Program or to get help finding a living donor, call the living donation nurse coordinator at 413-794-2321 (option 2).

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