That's Life - March 2, 2022

We live in a world filled with special days, weeks and months. Some are foolish, some are fun but others are some of a serious nature. As serious as life and death.

Here we are in March, 2022. March is National Kidney Month. Kidneys are vital organs that are required for survival and quality of life.

About 10% of Canada’s population has kidney disease and kidney disease is not just for old folks. About 46% of the four million Canadians with kidney disease are under 65 years of age.

Great strides have come as a result of kidney research and yet there is no cure for kidney disease. However, through dialysis and kidney transplants victims of kidney disease/failure can get a new lease on life.

Organ donors play a vital role in giving new hope and new life to those in need. An organ donation from a blood relative statiscally shows a better outcome. And yet, 45% of all adult living kidney donors are not a blood relative of the recipient.

The wait time for a kidney transplant can vary a great deal. Surprisingly 77% of Canadians waiting for an organ transplant are waiting for a kidney. The median wait time for a kidney transplant from a deceased donor is 3.7 years. Other statistics show that 26% of adult kidney transplants are made possible by living donors.

Since 2008, 863 kidney transplants have been made possible thanks to the Kidney Paired Donation Program.

Here’s how it works. If you have a living donor, but that person’s kidney is not a match for you, you can still have a living kidney transplant. Your donor will be able to donate but not directly to you. You will receive a donated kidney from a different donor.

Your transplant program can register you and your donor in the Kidney Paired Donation (KPD) Program. It’s a national program that matches living donors and recipients across the country.

Like I said, it’s a life and death issue, but you can be part of the solution.

Consider living organ donation. Join the Kidney Paired Donation Program Registry. Learn more: kidney.ca/organ-donor-programs. Register your intention to donate your organs through your provincial donor registry. For more: kidney.ca/register. Speak to your family and loved ones to make sure they know and honour your wishes.

You can learn more about kidney health and organ donation at kidney.ca.

That’s Life.