Live Donor Champion
The waiting list for a deceased-donor kidney transplant continues to grow each year, but the number of available organs remains relatively stable. We are constantly trying to find ways to increase the amount of organs available to our patients so they may avoid dialysis and a lengthy stay on the waiting list.
Identifying and receiving a transplant from a live donor is one solution. However, there are many barriers to identifying potential live donors. Barriers include discomfort with discussing such a sensitive subject, fear of asking someone else for an organ, and limited knowledge about the live donation process. We aim to help our patients overcome these barriers.
For this reason, we have developed the Live Donor Champion program. In this program, each participating patient will identify one other person to be their “Live Donor Champion” (usually a relative or a close friend). We will provide the Live Donor Champion and their patient with educational materials, business cards, and other resources. We hope this will make both the Live Donor Champion and the patient comfortable initiating conversations and spreading awareness about renal failure and live donation.
The goal is for the Live Donor Champion to help their patient find potential live donors.
Donor App provides patients with a step-by-step guide in creating their stories about why they need a transplant, how living donation could help restore their life, and then shares this story through Facebook’s platform.
The Donor App debuted its first pilot study in 2014 with impressive results. Dr. Cameron and his team found that patients who used the app were six times more likely to identify a live donor than the average person on the transplant waitlist.
Our team is currently preparing for a National Institutes of Health R01 funded multi-center randomized control trial entitled Expanding Live Donor Kidney Transplantation through Advocacy and Social Media, or ENGAGE. The trial will study the role of two novel interventions (Live Donor Champion and the Facebook App) in increasing live donor transplantation.