The Kidney Foundation launched the Living Donor Mentor Program with hopes of increasing living kidney donor numbers in B.C.
There are currently more than 530 people on the kidney transplant waitlist.
“If someone has kidney failure, the best hope for their future is most often a kidney transplant, and a living donor kidney transplant is the best option of all,” said Heather Johnson, director of programs at the B.C. and Yukon Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
According to B.C. Transplant, there have been 47 living kidney donor transplants and 122 deceased kidney transplants so far in 2017.
More than 80 per cent of organ transplants are kidneys, which gives the Kidney Foundation a priority in raising organ donation numbers.
“In looking at ways to increase living kidney donor rates, we identified a need for people considering being living kidney donors to connect with those who have been through the process for support and information,” said Johnson.
The Kidney Foundation engaged a group of living kidney donors to be volunteer mentors and share their experiences with people considering becoming a living kidney donor.
“They selflessly give an incredible gift to another who is in need of a life-saving kidney transplant, and now to have a group of living kidney donors gathered together to go even further to support others considering making a decision about living donation,” said Dr. David Landsberg, provincial medical director of transplant services.