Human Interest

Life Savers: Longest Living Organ Donar Chain Keeps Growing

Early in July, twenty-one people received life changing/saving kidney donations from living donors.  Additionally, this means that twenty-on new potential donors have been added to the longest “chain” of living kidney donors in America.  The aptly named “Giving Tree” organ donation program, organized by The University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center, works as follows:  Patients in need of kidney are added to the Giving Tree’s list only if they have an accompanying volunteer willing to donate their kidney.  Typically, when a patient is in need of kidney transplant, family members are meticulously screened for donation.  If no match is found, then patients must wait for a compatible donation from a deceased donor.  With nearly 20,000 people waiting for a kidney, those in need far outnumber potential donors.  Giving Tree, with it’s chain of volunteer living donors aims to enlarge the donor pool in their operating area and expedite finding matches.  They hope their success will inspire other the beginning of other chains throughout the nation.  Below is an infographic from Giving Tree illustrating their current donation chain.

(Image Credit: University of Alabama/ABC News)

Read more about Giving Tree and their donors and recipients at ABC News.


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