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Donating a kidney is a major decision and it takes courage to be a kidney donor. There are many things that you should know before considering kidney donation.
Kidneys may be donated by people who have died or by living donors who wish to help a loved one.
It is important that anyone who wants to be considered as a living kidney donor thinks seriously about the possibility.
This is against the following background:
The average waiting time for a kidney transplant for children is between six to twelve months and for some children the wait can take up to five years.
Where a child is involved, donors are normally a close relative with parents being the most usual donors. Grandparents or siblings can also be considered depending upon their age and aunts and uncles can donate if tissue matching is suitable.
In May 2005 a joint initiative, the Renal Taskforce, was launched to increase the numbers of transplants performed from living donors.
Building upon the experience of the UKT-funded living donor schemes, it is a unique collaboration and is supported by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI), the National Health Service (NHS), the Association of Renal Industries (ARI) the Department of Health (DH) and UKT.
The Renal Taskforce scheme is funding two living donor co-ordinator posts in Preston and Wolverhampton for an 18-month pilot period, and has recently produced two new Gift of Life information booklets for patients and their families considering living donation.
The booklets have been developed with input from colleagues throughout the transplant community and funding has been provided to make these available nationwide.