Unfortunately, there are simply not enough organs donated by people who have died to help those in need of an organ transplant.
You can volunteer to donate a kidney or part of your liver whilst you are alive to help someone in need of a transplant. Most often living organ donors are a close relative of the recipient, such as a family member or friend. However, living donors can also volunteer to donate anonymously to someone they don’t know. This is called non-directed altruistic donation.
More than 600 people have donated a kidney anonymously during their life to someone on the National Transplant list, alongside many thousands who have donated to a family member or friend.
Why is living organ donation important?
Around 5,000 people in the UK need a kidney transplant to transform their lives. The average waiting time for a kidney transplant from someone who has died is approximately two and a half years. For some ethnic groups and people with rare tissue types, the wait is longer and sadly some people will die waiting.
Kidneys are the most common organ donated by a living person, with living donors contributing to 3 in every 10 kidney transplants across the UK. A kidney from a living donor offers the recipient the best opportunity of success as living kidney donors usually last longer than those from deceased donors.
If you are interested in becoming a living organ donor or are looking for more information, please visit our website at www.organdonation.nhs.uk/livingdonation where you will also find contact details for living donation teams in transplant centres across the UK.