During a living donor kidney transplant, surgeons take a healthy kidney from the body of living person. The healthy kidney is then placed into the body of a person (the recipient) who needs a kidney. Both the living donor and the recipient can then lead normal, active lives
Kidney transplants are the most common living donor transplants. At Baystate Medical Center, about half of our transplants come from living donors.
- The recipient does not need to wait for an organ on a transplant list, which can take 4 or more years.
- The recipient has a chance of getting a transplant before needing dialysis. Dialysis can take a toll on a person’s health, restrict their diet, and cause stress.
- Transplant from a living donor means that the kidney is immediately placed into the recipient’s body. This means the kidney goes without a blood supply for only a short time.
- The transplant can be scheduled when the recipient and donor are in the best physical and emotional health, which can lead to better outcomes.
Baystate Medical Center offers the “paired exchange” option, using the National Kidney Registry and the UNOS Kidney Paired Exchange Program. A paired exchange helps to find another living donor who is compatible.
There is no cost for donating your kidney. However, the transplant program does not usually cover travel or other non-medical expenses.
Donating your kidney can come with financial burdens that are not covered by the transplant recipient's health insurance. Expenses can add up, including costs for travel, lodging, child care, and lost wages from missing work. There are financial assistance programs that can help. You can contact social worker Katie Newton at 413-794-2606 with questions about financial help.
Requirements for Financial Assistance
You can apply for financial assistance based on your situation and need. Most programs require applicants to have an income at or below 300% of the federal poverty line.
When you apply, you'll need to provide information including:
- Donor personal information (name, address contact information, citizenship status, and more)
- Income information
- Information about accompanying person (if someone is traveling with you)
- Federal tax return and two most recent pay stubs for all household members who contribute to household income
Help with Travel Expenses
National Living Donor Assistance Center
American Kidney Fund
American Organ Transplant Association
TRIO (Transplant Recipients International Organization)
Live On Organ Donation
Help with Loss of Income & Other Expenses
American Living Organ Donor Fund – Safety Net Project
American Transplant Foundation – Patient Assistance Program
Heal with Love Foundation
Kidney Transplant/ Dialysis Association, Inc. – Patient Assistance Committee
Fundraising for Living Donation Expenses