Orange and blue pinwheels from the UVA Health Donate Life pinwheel garden.

Living Organ Donation

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For people with end-stage liver or kidney disease, an organ transplant can offer a chance at a full life. But a person can be on the waiting list for an organ for a long time. Living organ donors can save lives by donating an organ while they're still alive.

Living organ donation is only an option for kidney and liver transplants. (Living donations are not an option for pancreas, heart, or lung transplants.)

What is a Living Donor?

A living donor is someone who donates their kidney or part of their liver to another person. Both people you know and strangers can become a living donor. See how living organ donors can donate:

Living Organ Donation Saved Baby Josie's Life

Josie's biliary atresia meant her liver was in rough shape and she needed a transplant. Christina Miller's living liver donation saved baby Josie's life. See Josie's Story transcript.

Our First Commitment: Donor Health

Becoming a living donor is a selfless act. Living donation isn't for everyone. But by knowing the facts, you can decide if this option is the right choice for you.

For a living organ donation to happen, everyone involved must agree to it:

  • You, the living donor
  • The patient getting the donated organ (the recipient)
  • Our medical team

We carefully screen everyone who could become a donor. We need to make sure you're:

  • Physically healthy
  • Psychologically healthy
  • Aware of the risks and benefits of organ donation.

Our Donor Evaluation Team includes a social worker, an independent living donor advocate, and psychologists who work with donors to ensure your well-being. We're committed to making the process safe and successful for everyone involved.