Frequently Asked Questions

For Patients

How will DONOR help me find a live donor?

DONOR will help you create a social media post that shares details of your organ failure and need for a live organ donor. Your post will contain contact information for your transplant center for readers to start the evaluation process and/or learn more about living donation. By sharing your story with your social media following, you will have a better chance of identifying a potential living organ donor. Patients who used our app in an early study were 6.6 times more likely to have a potential living donor come forward on their behalf.

What if I don’t feel comfortable sharing personal details of my life on Facebook or other social media sites?

Sharing your private health information can be scary and intimidating. DONOR was developed to help patients share their story with friends and family using the broad reach of social media. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your story with your loved ones, you absolutely do not have to.

However, we strongly encourage you to share your post. Donor is a resource that can help you find a living donor faster and more easily. This resource can be the key to helping you feel healthier and allowing you to get back to living a normal life.

By using DONOR, will I get moved up on the deceased donor transplant waitlist?

No, using DONOR does not move you up on the deceased donor transplant waitlist. Instead, the Donor App will help you find a potential living donor through your online social network. With a living donor, you can undergo living donor transplantation immediately, avoiding the deceased donor waiting time.

Is it OK to use DONOR if I am currently inactive on the deceased donor waitlist?

Each individual case is different, but most patients would benefit from a potential living donor. Talk to your transplant team to discuss your status on the waitlist.

Is it OK to use DONOR if I’ve had a previous organ transplant and am currently re-listed?

Each individual case is different, but most patients would benefit from a potential living donor. Talk to your transplant team to discuss your concerns.

Is it OK to use DONOR if I am listed for multiple organs (i.e. kidney and liver)?

No. Unfortunately, patients that are listed for multiple organs are currently not eligible candidates for living donor transplantation. Consequently, DONOR would not apply to patients in need of multiple organs.

Is it OK to use DONOR if I already have a potential living organ donor?

Absolutely! There is nothing wrong with having more than one potential living organ donor. After identification of a person interested in living donation, your transplant hospital will evaluate each individual thoroughly to ensure that they are eligible to donate and that donation would be safe for them and for you as the recipient.

Sometimes, interested donors may not able to donate for a lot of different reasons, in which case having more than one potential living organ donor may be in your best interest.

How does my transplant hospital use my story and details from DONOR?

Your transplant hospital will collect the information that you have entered into DONOR and use it to better understand how to improve the experience of the site. Your transplant team will try to make sure that everyone who needs to see your information keeps it confidential - but we cannot guarantee that your information will not be redisclosed. Your private health information is kept protected on the DONOR secure server.

What if a potential living organ donor comes forward on my behalf but they live out-of-state or live far away?

That is OK - they can still be a living organ donor! Have them contact your transplant hospital and express their interest in donating an organ. The transplant team will be able to answer all of your specific questions.

What if a potential living organ donor comes forward on my behalf but doesn’t match my blood type?

That is OK - they can still be a living organ donor and may still help you get a living donor transplant! Paired donation exchange programs exist to help more patients get transplanted. Have the interested donor contact your transplant hospital and express their interest in donating an organ through an exchange program. The transplant team will be able to answer any questions and start the evaluation process.

Why should I pursue live donor transplantation?

Live donor organ transplantation is the best treatment option for patients on the organ transplant waitlist. Transplant candidates generally have better results when they received organs from living donors as compared to organs from deceased donors. Often, transplant organs from living donors last longer than those from deceased donors.

For Donors

Why should I be a living donor?

In the US today, there are over 100,000 people in need of a life saving transplant. Approximately 15,000 patients are waiting for a liver transplant and 101,000 are waiting for a kidney transplant. As a living donor, you can save the life of someone awaiting transplant.

Who can be a living donor?

Living donors must be over 18 years old, as well as physically and mentally healthy, and with an ethical motivation to donate. They must have a strong support system, as the process of donation can be physically and emotionally demanding. For more information on the medical requirements to become a living donor, please contact your transplant hospital.

If I contact a transplant hospital, do I have to become an organ donor?

Not at all! When you contact the transplant hospital, they will give you more information about becoming a living organ donor and then the rest is up to you. You can change your mind at any step in the process.

Will the patient know if I contact the transplant center?

No, transplant centers do not tell patients when individuals call to inquire about becoming a donor. You can decide if and when the patient finds out you want to be their donor.

What is the first step to becoming a living organ donor?

Becoming a living donor is a personal decision. Speak to your doctors, family, and friends to learn about the process and decide if living donation is right for you. Once you decide that you are interested, contact the transplant center listed on the patient’s story page to get more information and begin the evaluation process.

Why do I need to be evaluated?

When making a live organ donation, it is important to be in good health and make an informed, voluntary decision. Evaluation at the transplant center ensures that you fully understand the donation process, and that you are physically and mentally ready to do so. In addition, the hospital needs to verify that you are a good match for your intended recipient.

What does living donor evaluation entail?

Each living donor evaluation is different. The transplant center you contact will be able to describe their process for evaluation and answer any questions you may have. In some instances, this information is available on the transplant center’s website.

What if I live out-of-state or far away from the patient’s transplant hospital?

That is OK! You can still be a living organ donor. If you are interested in living donation, contact the transplant hospital and let them know that you are not nearby, and the transplant team will help you throughout the process and answer all of your specific questions.

Will I have to pay the medical costs?

Most medical insurances cover donor-related expenses before and after living organ donation, and each case is reviewed on an individual basis. The evaluation process will provide detailed information on this topic.

Can I get paid to be a living donor?

No, it is illegal and unethical to sell a human organ as a living donor. The penalties for this can be very severe, including fined and prison. If you need financial assistance to be a living donor, the hospital social worker can provide resources such as www.livingdonorassistance.org, or other charitable foundations. The social worker can also explain to you what types of expenses can be paid by the organ recipient.

For Champions

Do I have to be a donor to be a Champion?

No. As a Champion, you do not need to go through the donor evaluation process if you do not want to. Simply helping the patient share his or her story will help on the journey to finding a potential living donor.

How can I be a source of support?

Writing a story on the patient's behalf and sharing it to your social media networks is a great and important start. Encouraging others to share your story and the patient's story will also be very helpful.

Am I limited by social media?

No. From your story dashboard, you can find the story links that can be included in texts or emails. You can also spread awareness via letters, business cards, newsletters, etc.

How to Get Started

Become a Donor

If you are interested in becoming a living donor, head to the Get Started page to learn more. If you know who you want to donate to, reach out to the patient’s transplant center to begin the process. If you are interested in donating but do not have anyone specific in mind, head to the Stories page to find patients in your area or reach out to your local transplant center as a Non-Directed Donor. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to help@thedonorapp.com.

See Patient Stories

Share my Story

If you are interested in sharing your story using DONOR, click Learn More to see how DONOR can help. If you know someone who needs a transplant and would like to help them write their story, consider being a Champion. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to help@thedonorapp.com.

Learn More Become a Champion