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Living Organ Donors

Donating a kidney or part of your liver may be the most deeply meaningful thing you ever do. On average in the U.S., 17 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. By giving the unique gift of a living organ, you offer a second chance at life to someone who is struggling to survive.

Scroll down to see how living donation works and how it has changed the lives of donors, recipients and care teams at UCSF. If you have questions, please email us at [email protected].

Take the first step

Potential kidney donor?

Informed consent materials: These will help you understand the process of becoming a living kidney donor.

Our confidential questionnaire: This will get you started on the evaluation process for becoming a living kidney donor.

Potential liver donor?

Informed consent materials: These will help you understand the process of becoming a living liver donor.

Our confidential questionnaire: This will get you started on the evaluation process for becoming a living liver donor.

Learn about becoming a living donor

Becoming a Living Kidney Donor

Find out why living donors choose to donate a kidney to someone in need, what the surgery is like, who's eligible, how to be considered, and much more.

Becoming a Living Liver Donor

Find out why living donors choose to donate part of their liver to someone in need, what surgery is like, who's eligible, how to be considered, and much more.

Webinars: Living organ donation

Watch the webinar

COVID-19 and Living Donation

Why donate a kidney or part of your liver to a stranger?

Donating a kidney or part of your liver to someone you don't know is a generous and lifesaving act. Thousands of people in the U.S. are waiting for organs, but there simply are not enough to fill the need. Your donation can help alleviate this life-threatening shortage.

When you donate a kidney, your remaining kidney grows larger and takes over the work of two kidneys. When you donate part of your liver, what remains naturally grows back to its normal size and function within a couple of months. For your recipient, receiving an organ from a living donor speeds up the process, dramatically improving their chances for a successful transplant.

Get inspired and find out more about living organ donation at UCSF in the "patient's perspective" section, below.

Giving liberates the soul of the giver. – Maya Angelou

The patient's perspective

A chain often starts when someone off the street says, "I want to donate my kidney to somebody."

Reid Moran-Haywood

For much of the Bay Area, June 4, 2015, was a day to root for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. But a different sort of drama was unfolding at UCSF Medical Center and California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), where medical teams embarked on a kidney transplant chain involving nine transplants and 18 people, started by a good Samaritan donor.

Read More
A doctor donates a kidney to restore her big brother's health
A mom with liver cancer gets a lifesaving gift from a friend

Our calling

Dr. Nancy Ascher, Transplant Surgeon and Kidney Donor
Sandy Weinberg, Living Donor Advocate
Valerie McBride, Kidney Transplant Coordinator

Awards & recognition

  • Rated high-performing hospital for acute kidney failure

  • Best in Northern California in gastroenterology & GI surgery

  • More than 390 living donor liver transplants performed by UCSF

  • More than 3,000 living donor kidney transplants performed by UCSF

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