In the United States, at any given point in time there are more patients waiting for a kidney transplant than there are donors. Many public campaigns have tried to increase awareness about how donating organs helps save lives. Kidneys are at the center of many of these campaigns since every person has two kidneys but can live healthy with only one. If more people with low risk of kidney failure donated a kidney, many lives would be spared. To have low risk of the disease you should not have kidney failure in your family history, you should eat and drink right, exercise, not have diabetes, and more.
In 2011 over 87,000 patients were waiting for a kidney in the United States alone. In 2008, only slightly over 17,000 transplants were performed. This shows that the United States needs more voluntary donors. Transplants can come from relatives, friends, deceased organ donors, or a stranger. Just because somebody is a member of the patient’s family, however, does not guarantee a match. Actually, in most cases, the kidney donated comes from a deceased donor. Many family members and friends might be willing to donate but are not a match, or they might themselves be at high risk for kidney failure.