“Helping Your Donor Find You!” Workshop

Harvey Mysel of the Living Kidney Donors Network presented a workshop entitled “Helping Your Donor Find YOU!” on Friday, Dec. 8. Harvey is a two-time transplant recipient. He talked to people waiting for transplants and their advocates about sharing their own situations.

“It’s all about the story,” Harvey said. Many patients in need don’t pursue living kidney donation because they are concerned about asking someone to donate. “You don’t need to ask anyone to donate, you need to tell your story,” Harvey said.

In 2016, a total of 19,061 kidney transplants took place in the United States. The number of kidney transplants from deceased donors has increased to 13,431 in 2016. Meanwhile, the number of transplants from living donors has gone down, with 5,630 taking place in 2016.

Harvey noted many of the benefits of receiving a transplant from a living donor. He also noted risks and the safeguards that are in place for the health and safety of those considering living donation.

The workshop included tools for people to effectively communicate their own situations, including writing out one’s story and preparing a 30 second “elevator speech.” Harvey also highlighted examples of ways other people have shared their need for a transplant, from Facebook posts and news stories to signs on cars and even billboards.

The session was hosted by Erie County Medical Center. The Kidney Connection and the Kidney Foundation of Western New York co-presented the event.  

Information about Harvey and the Living Kidney Donors Network is online at lkdn.org.

*Note: The information provided by Living Kidney Donors Network should be used as a resource only and is not intended to be used as medical advice.*