Thinking about organ donation?
May 22, 2014
By STAFF

Educate Yourself
Read everything you can about living donation, the outcomes, risks and benefits. Here’s a good place to start: www.kidney.org
 
Consider Your Reasons
Think about your reasons for wanting to donate, and the impact of the donation on you and your family–emotionally, physically and financially. Medical expenses are typically paid for by the recipient’s insurance, including hospital bills, testing before surgery, and any other medical expenses directly related to the donation. But there will no doubt be some expenses that aren’t covered.
 
Count the cost
Living donation is a gift made from the donor to the recipient with no expectation of material compensation. Under U.S. law, it is illegal to buy or sell organs. Donors are never financially compensated. Under federal law, it is illegal to receive money or gifts in exchange for an organ donation. In addition, donors are often responsible for their own travel expenses and any time lost from work.
 
Request Information
If you decide to pursue donation, you will need to contact transplant centers (hospitals that perform transplant operations) in your area about the possibility of being a living donor. Or, you can contact other organizations that help facilitate living donation.
 
Florida’s transplant centers are in St. Petersburg, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Orlando, Fort Myers, Daytona Beach, Hollywood, Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Gainesville.
 
What Else Can I Do?
You may not be able to be a living donor–or you may decide that living donation isn’t right for you. You can still help those awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Here are a few ways you can make a difference.
 
Be a donor after your death. Donate blood, which also saves lives every day. For more information about blood donation, call the American Red Cross at (800) GIVE–LIFE or visit their website: RedCross.org
 
Join the bone marrow registry. For more information about bone marrow or blood stem cell donation, contact the National Marrow Donor Program at (800) MARROW2 or bonemarrow.org

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