Would You Do It: Donate Your Kidney to a Stranger?

The Stir Bloggers

Apparently, giving up a kidney to a total stranger is a popular thing to do.

A 28-year-old Michigan man named Matthew Jones started this generous trend recently when he dontated his kidney to a stranger in Arizona. The Alliance for Paired Donation, founded by a transplant surgeon at the University of Toledo Medical Center has been promoting the idea.

Over many months, 10 people have received a donor kidney in this way. And today is a good day to thank them. Today is World Kidney Day.

There are currently more than 78,000 people on the waiting list for kidney transplants from deceased donors. Last year, there were 10,551 deceased-donor kidney transplants, and 5,963 more from living donors.

Often, a friend or family member will be willing to donate the organ, but the two aren't a good medical match. That's where a "paired donation" comes in. The incompatible pair is hooked up with a similar pair, so that the right person gets the right kidney. They try to time all the surgeries simultaneously to prevent a donor from backing out.

This is a wonderful story, and I'm so glad people are giving people the chance at life. If my family member--God forbid my child--needed my kidney, I wouldn't think twice. But it honestly would be hard for me to give it up for a stranger. I'd really have to think it over. I mean, sometimes I have trouble sharing my fries.

I did donate my organs on the back of my driver's license in the case of my death. Many CafeMoms had strong feelings on this subject in the Questions section: Will you donate your organs?

What do you think? Could you donate an organ for a family member? For a stranger? Did you sign away your organs on the back of your license?

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