The deputy managing editor of CNN’s investigations unit answered the request for employees to be tested to find a donor for Senior UN Correspondent Richard Roth, who needed a kidney transplant, and found that her blood and tissue was a match.
“It takes a special kind of person to keep another human being alive,” Roth said.
Living donations may make some people more uneasy than the thought of donating after death, but donation organizations say they are a big part of their efforts. Here’s how you can become an organ donor.
Who can be a donor?
Living donations may be more common than you imagine.
Those donations can come in many forms: organs, tissues, bone marrow and blood. Joining a donor registry does not necessarily mean that you will immediately become a donor. Doctors must look for the right match in blood and tissue for their patients, and joining allows them to see if you are the right fit.
Who can you help?
In those cases, doctors often turn to registries to find a donor.
Living donors can give kidneys, a liver lobe, a lung, part of a lung, part of the pancreas or part of the intestines. You can also give skin, bone, bone marrow, blood and platelets, the HRSA said.
How safe is it?
To avoid emotional or physical harm, a transplant center doctor will ensure that living donors are in good health before donating. The HRSA advises that no one who has or has had diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, kidney disease or heart disease become living donors.
Although health risks come with any major surgery, living donors often do well over the long term, the HRSA said.
How do you get started?
There are many resources you can utilize to be added to a registry and potentially become at match for a patient in need.
The United Network for Organ Sharing can also help you become a donor. To learn more, contact the network at 888-894-6361.