Our primary focus is living kidney donation because there are over 95,000 people (82 percent of the National Transplant Waiting List) in the U.S. waiting for a kidney.
Living organ donation first emerged in 1954, when a kidney from one twin was successfully transplanted into his brother. It has become an increasingly important way to help confront the shortage of organs available for transplants, reduce wait times for recipients, and give people a second chance at a fuller, more independent life.
Donors specify to whom they want to donate an organ. They can include biological relatives; a biologically unrelated individual connected to the potential recipient, such as a spouse, friend, or co-worker; or a biologically unrelated person who has heard about someone in need of a transplant.
Donors give to an anonymous recipient on the national waiting list. Altruistic donors may also participate in a kidney chain. In a kidney chain your kidney is transplanted into a recipient who had a donor willing to give a kidney, but whose donor was not a match for them. This means your one donation can allow for many other donations to happen.
This involves two or more pairs of living kidney donors and recipients who are not medically compatible. The transplant candidates swap donors so that each receives an organ from someone with a matching blood type.
Independent Living Donor Advocacy
In 2007 the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) mandated that a transplant center identify either an independent living donor advocate (ILDA) or an ILDA team to ensure protection of the rights of living donors and prospective living donors.
The Living Bank’s licensed clinical transplant social workers provide ILDA services and support to living donors and living donor candidates in the Texas Medical Center’s live donor transplant programs at CHI St. Luke’s Health, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann and Texas Children’s Hospital and to distant site locations via telehealth.
“Our ILDAs serve to protect and promote the best interests of living organ donor, ensuring their decision to donate is informed and free from coercion.” – Kelly Perdue
Meet The Living Bank ILDAs
The Living Banks ILDAs have a combined experience of over 25 years in the field of transplantation and living organ donation. They are highly skilled and bring expertise, passion and dedication to the patients they serve and to The Living Bank organization.
REBECCA STIEMENS, LCSW, CCTSW
Clinical Transplant Social Worker
Independent Living Donor Advocate