It is difficult and complicated to search for a voluntary (altruistic) kidney donor. In Israel, the task was made more urgent when access was cut off to many countries abroad which were the source of high-quality kidneys in the past, such as the Philippines, where many Israelis underwent transplants. Also, the waiting list for donations from brain-dead (cadaver) donors is constantly getting longer and the wait can reach seven years for certain blood-types.
The alternative is to find a live donor. There is, however, considerable difficulty in finding such a donor. In order to increase the chances of success, we must first understand what deters people from donating.
Two main factors cause people to be concerned about donating a kidney.
The first is fear of the unknown. People are naturally deterred from action when they have no knowledge of the outcome. This problem is dealt with by referring the potential donor to sources of good written information and to experts with first-hand knowledge of the subject.
Matnat Chaim arranges meetings with previous kidney donors who are happy to share their personal experiences. Contact us for details.
The second deterrent factor is concern for the short and long term health of the donor. The entire subject of transplants has gotten a terrible reputation in Israel. The media have played up horror stories of underworld characters who obtained kidneys in ways more fitting to the Mafia and organized crime.
Matnat Chaim has set for itself a goal of changing the perception of living-donor organ donations and presenting the true picture to the public. The transplants are perfectly legitimate. The donors are thoroughly checked both physically and emotionally, and the transplants are performed at selected medical centers here in Israel by leading surgical specialists. There is minimal risk and no fear of trade in organs.
The patient’s closest relatives should be considered first as potential donors. They should be directed to this website or other similar resources which will provide reliable information about the transplant, the recovery process, and the long-term health of the donor.
Matnat Chaim stands ready to assist any interested donor. We will send our representative to meet your relatives and introduce them to past donors who will share their experiences. We are happy to help.
If no donor is found among the close relatives, the search is expanded to more distant relatives, friends and neighbors, members of the community, etc. Matnat Chaim has recently produced a comprehensive guide which can be given to potential donors. The guide is available in English and in Hebrew. Please contact us to receive a copy or have one sent to the donor.
Beware of Con Men
Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people out there that prey on the distress of the patients and try to sell them dubious transplants in various third world countries.
While it is true that there are a few places offering transplants which might be reasonable or even good, there are many charlatans who ensnare innocent people.
We know of terrible stories of patients who were cheated out of thousands of dollars and received nothing in return. You must be alert and consider your actions carefully in order to avoid illegal transplants. Deal with known legitimate places only!