Living kidney donors
Living donors are usually relatives (parents, brothers, sisters or adult children) of the person who needs the kidney transplant. If circumstances are suitable, people who are not related to you may also donate a kidney.
Another type of living kidney donation is called non-directed kidney donation or altruistic donation. An altruistic donor is a person who willing to give the gift of life to someone who is not only unrelated to them by blood or marriage but a complete stranger.
The tests to determine whether a living donor will be a compatible donor for you are very complex and can take a long time. New techniques mean that transplant can often now be done in situations that were previously difficult. For example, if your potential living donor is not from a compatible blood group there are now ways to deal with this.
The main benefit of having a living donor is timing. It can sometimes take years before a kidney becomes available from a deceased donor. Having a living donor may mean you can have a transplant before you even need to start dialysis. This called a pre-emptive transplantation