Frequently Asked Questions

 

A. What is The GOLD about?

The GOLD is about making a cultural change to our society…

We want to cure the 85,000 presently waiting a kidney transplant. We also want to keep future patients from needing to go on the transplant list.

The GOLD - The Gift of Living Donation - Considering Living DonationAnd we have the cure!

There is no need for research, drug testing, a medical breakthrough, training medical practitioners, etc.

There’s a cure every time a person can be convinced to step forward and donate a kidney.

And, we’re not asking for everyone to become altruistic, non-directed donors…

We are asking only those who may have either a family member or friend in need of a kidney transplant to consider becoming living kidney donors.  However, this could affect virtually everyone at some time in their lives.

And, our efforts just might nudge some people to become non-directed donors, or at least make their organs available upon death. This will make additional donated kidneys available to those on the list.

And, thanks to those removed from the waiting list by our Living Donation efforts, those still on the waiting list will see their term on the list shortened.

It’s that basic.

B. Why The GOLD?

The GOLD - The Gift of Living Donation - Can I Make a Living DonationSimply put, the waiting list has grown to 85,000 in 25 years. Whatever was envisioned to reverse this growing trend has failed. The organ donation community ‘was asleep’, and still hasn’t developed a strategy to reverse and eliminate this national health crisis. What is the wait list number which will finally be deemed unacceptable? What would the suffering 85,000 patients say?

C. 85,000 on the waiting list… is that correct?

It’s actually more than 85,000 and continues to grow. The list is kept by UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, which maintains the national data base for transplant information. To put it in perspective, the waiting list is greater than the populations for cities such as Elmira, N.Y., Ames, Iowa, Corvallis, Oregon, Great Falls, Montana and Sandusky, Ohio. If those cities were in a serious health risk, wouldn’t we be doing everything possible to assist them??

D. With today’s technology, is there still any risk involved in becoming a Living Donor?

As with any major, invasive surgery, there is always a risk. It is important that the prospective Living Donor researches the particulars of his/her situation to the fullest.

The transplant team will review those risks with the Living Donor. The risks can be physical, financial, and even emotional and psychological. During the examination period, which lasts for weeks and/or months, the Living Donor has plenty of time to ask questions, evaluate the risks and even opt out gracefully if they change their mind.

Living Donation is not for everyone. But then, becoming a volunteer fireman is not for everyone, nor is enlisting in the armed services, even during peacetime. It takes some courage, and it takes some love.

The GOLD - The Gift of Living Donation - Living Kidney DonationWe take risks all the time: Driving at 65 mph. may be legal, but unfortunate circumstances do occur beyond the fault or control of the driver. Mothers take a risk with childbirth, and sometimes there are complications. Life is full of risk, and we alone are responsible for evaluating what works best for our own lives.

For many of us, life is not just about ourselves. We take risks for the sake of others, because we see that as part of our humanity.

There have been over 100,000 living donor transplants. Although no official survey exists, from the countless stories in the media, comments on listservs, etc., many, many donors will say the Living Donor experience was a rewarding experience in their lives. 

The GOLD is asking people to consider becoming a Living Donor to a family member or friend, because there are many family members and friends in need.   In addition, The GOLD encourages potential Living Donors to fully evaluate their situation as well as their conscience.

E. Aren’t there already major kidney transplant related organizations doing the same thing?

Presently there are a number of support organizations which assist potential living donors with information, education, and resources, should they begin to consider becoming a living donor. These are all important services, and they deliver them along with legislative lobbying, insurance issues, donor family support, etc.

However, there is no organization awakening the public to becoming a living donor, and reinforcing the fact that living donation is a normal, charitable action.

The GOLD - The Gift of Living Donation - Thinking about Living DonationOne only needs to see how smoking went from acceptable to objectionable with the right, directed message. It’s only one example of how cultural change is possible (and we’re not fighting a physical addiction!)

The GOLD will only focus on promoting Living Donation as an accepted and expected value in America. We want to deliver potential donors to the other living donor support organizations. Unlike the other support organizations, The GOLD’s objective is singular, simple and focused.

F. Are there religious concerns in regard to becoming a Living Donor?

Most religions approve of Living Donation, and as it’s a major act of charity, they encourage it. It is one of the most significant gifts one human being can give to another. However, as religious beliefs are the most private of concerns, The GOLD encourages potential Living Donors to discuss them with their religious or spiritual leaders.

Did you know?

Approximately 18 people die daily while on the kidney transplant waiting list, or one death every 90 minutes.

The Present Crisis

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