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Living Donation: The Lifeline for Thousands Needing Kidney and Liver Transplants

The United States of America is home to more than 103,000 people and children who are now waiting for an organ transplant. Of them, approximately 4,000 are located in the state of Illinois.

During April, hospitals commemorate Donate Life Month, which is centered on activities that aim to educate more people about the significance of registering their desire to donate a life.

It is possible to share a portion of your kidney or liver with someone who is in need through a process known as living donation. This arrangement takes place while both parties are still alive.

Over more than half a century, the transplant facility at UW Health has been providing services to live donors, making it the most extensive and active living kidney donation program. “That can go on to save somebody who would otherwise be waiting much longer to get that life-saving transplant,” said Tracie Cook, who is the community outreach coordinator for organ and tissue donation at the University of Washington Health.

“You can accomplish this through the kidney paired exchange program, which allows you to do so if you know the person to whom you are genetically matched, or you can do it through directed donation, which requires you to have an identified receiver to whom you are genetically matched.

You can register to become a donor and obtain additional information by visiting this website or by registering through the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles.

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