Most organ donors help save lives by making an end-of-life decision, but it’s possible to donate organs another way.
People, while still living, may give a kidney, a section of their liver or lobe of their lungs to someone on the waiting list. Typically, this is someone they know, but occasionally the recipient may be a complete stranger. Brittney Hoszkiw of Lansing (above) received a kidney from her father, Steve, in 2005 after meningitis caused her kidneys to fail.
Kidneys – because most people have two and there is an extreme need – are the most common organs to be donated by living donors.
Living donation, which dates back nearly 60 years, should be considered carefully due to the risks both during surgery and later in life. Not everyone qualifies medically. Most qualifying donors, however, are able to live healthy and long lives. For more information, please go to the Transplant Living website or contact the transplant center working with the friend or loved one you wish to help. Additional information is available from the National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors.