Kidney voucher program

Healthwatch

There are over 100,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list.

Many people on the list have to wait years before getting a transplant, but a new program is putting some patients on the fast-track. 

Three-year-olds Adele and Aubrey may be twins, but they couldn’t be more different from each other.

A big difference between the two is that Aubrey has two kidneys, while Adele has one.

When Adele was born she was diagnosed with multicystic kidney disease. 

She’s doing well now with her kidney function at 78 percent.

Meghann Adams is the mother of the girls. She says, “At this point it’s looking like she will need a kidney transplant within the next ten years or so.” 

But when she does need her transplant, she will be transferred to the living kidney donor list. It’s all thanks to her grandmother donating her kidney to a complete stranger.

Through the national kidney registry’s donor voucher program, a donor can donate a kidney now and get a voucher for an intended recipient for a later living donor transplant. 

Dr. Nicole Turgeon with Emory University’s School of Medicine says, “Those timeframes are significantly shorter than you would have to wait for a deceased donor kidney. Deceased donor kidneys, you can wait anywhere from a couple of years all the way up to eight to ten years.” 

Just one living donor taking part in this voucher program can help over a hundred people on the transplant list.  

Jaime is the grandmother of the girls. Her kidney donation started off a chain that impacted eight people with four kidney transplants. But now she also has that safety net for her granddaughter, for whenever she will need her kidney. 

Jaime was the first to take part in the kidney voucher program at Emory University. 

The longest chain to take place there involved 62 transplants.

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