The kidney is the most frequently transplanted organ and also the organ needed the most.
In 2021, there were 24,670 kidney transplants in the U.S. Deceased donors made 18,699 kidney transplants possible. Living donors generously gave to allow an additional 5,971 kidney transplants.
In New York State, more than 7,200 people need a kidney. Nationally, more than 90,000 are waiting. Of those, more than 12,500 have been waiting longer than for more than 5 years to receive a lifesaving transplant.
Living Kidney Donation
The United Network for Organ Sharing has a helpful page with information about the steps to living donation and a listing of transplant centers across the country.
The Regional Center of Excellence for Transplantation and Kidney Care at Erie County Medical Center is where most local residents are listed and receive kidney or kidney/pancreas transplants. Visit ECMC's Living Donor Information page to learn more about their processes, including living donor evaluation, matching and surgery.
National Kidney Donation Organization
The National Kidney Donation Organization (NKDO) is an organization of Living Donors who help mentor those looking to donate a kidney as well as helping those who are in need of a kidney transplant. NKDO provides education and information to prospective living kidney donors. If you are interested in learning more about living kidney donation, please visit their website at www.nkdo.org.
Registering as an organ donor
All New Yorkers age 16 and older can register to save lives by signing up as an organ and tissue donor. By joining the New York State Donate Life Registry, you record your decision to be a donor. Your kindness could save eight lives through organ donation, restore sight with cornea donations and improve 75 more lives with tissue. It is easy to register and you can give someone a second chance at life. Visit https://donatelife.ny.gov/register/ to register as a donor.
Transplant Centers where WNY residents are listed
Erie County Medical Center
Kidney Transplant Information: https://www.ecmc.edu/health-services-and-doctors/renal-care-kidney-and-pancreas/kidney-transplants/
Living Donation Information: https://www.ecmc.edu/health-services-and-doctors/renal-care-kidney-and-pancreas/living-donor-information/
Strong Memorial Hospital
Kidney Transplant Information: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/transplant/kidney.aspx
Living Donation Information: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/transplant/live-donor.aspx
Upstate Medical University
Kidney Transplant Information: https://www.upstate.edu/transplant/kidney-transplant/index.php
Living Donation Information: https://www.upstate.edu/transplant/organ-donation/living-donor.php
Kidney Transplant Information: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/transplant/programs/kidney
Living Donation Information: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/transplant/programs/kidney/living-kidney-donation
Kidney Transplant Information: https://www.upmc.com/locations/hospitals/hamot/services/kidney-transplant
Living Donation Information: https://www.upmc.com/locations/hospitals/hamot/services/kidney-transplant/living-donor-kidney-transplant
Kidney Transplant Information: https://www.upmc.com/services/transplant/kidney-pancreas
Living Donation Information: https://www.upmc.com/services/transplant/kidney-pancreas/living-donor
Organizations and Resources for Living Donation
The Kidney Connection is a WNY non-profit through which people in need of a kidney transplant can share their stories in order to connect with potential living donors. Stories and photos of many local people currently awaiting a transplant are at kidneyconnection.org.
The Living Kidney Donors Network has a free online program for patients and their advocates, "Having Your Kidney Donor Find YOU!" which has already helped many to develop their kidney campaigns. www.lkdn.org and havingyourdonorfindyou.org/kfwny/.
National Kidney Donation Organization living donors help mentor those looking to donate a kidney as well as helping those who are in need of a kidney transplant. NKDO provides education and information to prospective living kidney donors. www.nkdo.org.
The mission of the National Kidney Registry is to save and improve the lives of people facing kidney failure by increasing the quality, speed and number of living donor transplants while protecting and supporting all living kidney donors. Programs include vouchers for living donors and microsites for people awaiting transplant. www.kidneyregistry.org
The National Living Donor Assistance Center operates a nationwide system that provides reimbursement of travel expenses, lost wages, and dependent care expenses to people being evaluated for and/or undergoing living organ donation. Priority is given to those who could not otherwise afford to donate. www.livingdonorassistance.org
The American Living Organ Donor Fund works to make living organ donors whole by ensuring their rights are protected and by ensuring the procedure is cost-neutral. The fund is need-blind and makes direct grants to living organ donors both pre and post-donation to cover donation related expenses. www.helplivingdonorssavelives.org
The American Transplant Foundation's patient assistance program helps living donors to cover essential expenses such as rent or mortgage due to lost wages during recovery after surgery so they can heal without facing financial troubles. www.americantransplantfoundation.org/programs/pap/