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How to Become a Living Organ Donor & Save a Life Today

A mother laying with her daughter in a hospital bed

It’s National Donate Life Month. It’s when we put out the call to consider living organ donation. There aren’t enough donor organs for everyone on the waitlist for a transplant. But that can change if enough folks consider donating an organ.

Becoming a living organ donor is an incredible opportunity. It can save the life of a loved one, friend, or stranger. Right now, there are over 100,000 people on the list for an organ transplant just in the U.S. And, 17 people a day die before they get a chance to have a life-saving transplant.

Living organ donations make thousands of more transplants possible every year, offering hope to those in need.

There are lots of important reasons to consider becoming a living organ donor. But making the difference in bringing someone back to their normal life is undoubtedly top of the list. “As a living donor, you're in a really unique position to come alongside the recipient and say, I'm going to bear this with you," said Christina Miller, who answered the call for living organ donation and saved the life of Josie Curvin, who was a toddler at the time.

"It's just really special to play a role in bringing renewed life to somebody. It's kind of hard to put into words, really,” she said.

Read on to see how you can get started on the path of living organ donation, including how to qualify and where to learn more.

What Organs Can You Donate While Alive?

As a living organ donor, you can give:

There are advantages to living organ donation for both you (the donor) and the recipient.

I Think I’m Ready to Donate! What Are My Next Steps?

First, learn as much as you can about living organ donation. Living organ donation is a big decision that involves surgery. All surgeries have some risks. You can learn more about living organ donation at:

When Christina decided to become a living donor, she started by researching the ins and outs of living donation. “When you familiarize yourself with the risks of any surgery, it’s a good thing. You want to know what you’re getting into and educate yourself,” said Christina.

She also spent time talking to living organ donors. “It just put me at ease to be like, okay, these people made it through,” she noted.

Once you’ve learned more about how living donation works and decided on the organ you’d like to donate, get in touch with your doctor. They can help you connect with a transplant team. The team will check you out to see if you meet the requirements for organ donation.

How Do I Know If I Qualify for Living Organ Donation?

When you’re considering becoming a living donor, there are some things the transplant team usually looks for:

They'll check your overall health and make sure the organ you want to donate is in good condition.

This process takes some time. A transplant coordinator works with you every step of the way. They’ll make sure you’re making the right decision for you. Your health is our top priority.


Your generous act could save the life of a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger.

On the Path to Living Donation

Once you’ve finished the process and are approved to be a living donor, we’ll get you ready and schedule the surgery. We’ll make sure you’re ready for what happens before, during, and after surgery. We want your donation and recovery to go as smoothly as possible.

See what Christina says about living organ donation and what to expect as a living donor.

What Types of Living Organ Donation Are There?

Many people look into donating an organ because they want to give it to someone they know. But your organ may not be a good match for the person you have in mind. But you can still donate.

Types of living organ donation include:

Be a Living Organ Donor – Help Save a Life

Christina and Josie’s story is just 1 of the thousands unfolding around us every day. But you have the power to donate an organ and make a difference in 1 of those stories.

“If living liver donation is on someone's heart, I would just say to follow that pull and see where it goes. Because it's just a really special experience,” says Christina.


We have the most experienced transplant team in Virginia. We have over 50 years of researching, supporting, and performing organ transplants. And, our team has special training in the latest techniques.

We’ll help you and respect your decision to donate every step of the way, from beginning to end. We offer help through:

So, make the difference between life and death for someone today. Consider becoming a living organ donor.

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