‘Tis the Season of Giving… Kidneys, That Is

kidneysWe’ve all seen the artificial Christmas trees and holiday decorations for weeks now.  We’ve been bombarded with Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday sales. It’s December and the season of giving is upon us.

While we all know the traditional methods of giving – Toys for Tots, food drives, Salvation Army bell ringers – how many of us think about a gift that keeps on giving? What about giving something that can’t be found on Amazon.com or in a department store? What about giving … your kidney?

Organ donation is not a popular topic of conversation for most people. However, if you’re one of the thousands of people waiting for a donation, it’s a very important discussion to have. Each day, an average of 79 people receive organ transplants. Sadly, every 10 minutes a new name is added to the waiting list and an average of 18 people die each day waiting for transplants that that never come because of the shortage of donated organs.

What’s the most commonly donated organ? The kidney of course! People usually have two kidneys, and one is all that is needed to live a normal life. When the kidney is removed, the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney. To donate a kidney, you must be in good health and have normal kidney function. A live organ can come from a family member, friend, spouse, or even from a stranger. Thanks to improved medications, a genetic link between the donor and recipient is no longer required to ensure a successful transplant.

So during this holiday season, as you make your list and check it twice, think about how you can change the life of someone in need of organ donation. You can also help support the cause in ways other than organ donations: learn more at www.kidney.org.

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