A Different Kind of Donor…

Posted on March 10, 2023.

For people with kidney failure, three options are available: hemodialysis, which requires patients to use a machine to clean their blood, usually three times a week; peritoneal dialysis, which can be performed by the patient but must be done every day; or kidney transplantation. 

There are two types of kidney transplants: transplants from living donors and transplants from deceased donors. Donors are screened for compatibility with the patient to prevent rejection, which can occur when the recipient's immune system attacks what it perceives as foreign. 

Often, living donors are relatives of the recipient, but sometimes the donor and recipient are unrelated. For the first year ever, more than 25,000 kidney transplants were performed in the United States with only A total of 6,466 people becoming living organ donors. While most living donors provide a kidney for transplant, an increasing number of people donate a segment of their liver. In 2022, there were 603 liver transplants involving living donors, an annual record and an increase of nearly 6 percent above the total in 2021.

To highlight such a courageous act of selfless generosity, the Ascension St. John Foundation helps to fundraise for an Annual Living Donor Gala to bring awareness to the need for more live kidney donors, as 13 people die a day waiting for a kidney, but also to recognize and thank the live kidney donor heroes as they generously give the gift of life.

"We thank all the living and deceased organ donors, as well as the loved ones of deceased donors, who have provided a lifesaving gift.” said Irfan Kundi, MD, medical director of the Ascension St. John Transplant Center, “We also honor all the clinicians and professionals involved in organ donation and transplantation, who work tirelessly to make as many transplants happen as possible every day as they continue to rededicate themselves to meet the continuing need. Many people still wait anxiously for a life-giving transplant and we must continue to improve our capabilities to give them this vital opportunity.”

Learn more about kidney transplants at Ascension St. John Medical Center by going to

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