To bring awareness to the possibilities of living organ donation

As a living organ donor myself, I have seen the benefits that something like this can have.

While there is a lot of attention paid to organ donation, not that many people think about living organ donation.

Living organ donation is incredibly imporant. Take for example the need for kidney donation, whether from deceased or living donors, it is as great now as ever.

The United Network for Organ Sharing reports as of January 2006 there are nearly 65,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant. Kidney transplantation is very successful and has been shown to be less costly than dialysis over the long run. And living kidney donation is emerging as the preferred means of donation because:

1) The waiting time for a transplant recipient can be significantly reduced

2) The quality of the donated organ tends to be superior to organs from deceased donors

3) The time between procurement of the organ and transplantation to the recipient is minimized

All of these factors have yielded positive results for recipients. There is less rejection and lower doses of anti-rejection drugs. The transplanted kidney, or "graft," has better odds of surviving if from a living donor.

There are also other important forms of living organ donation including bone marrow, liver, lung, and pancreas.

I encourage all of you to get informed and do what you can. Chances are that you may already know somebody that you can help. And if you don't, you can pursue non-directed donation at a transplant center near you.

1. Living organ donation is important

2. Living organ donation is highly preferred to donation from a deceased donor