Renal transplantation is now widely considered the preferred mode of renal replacement therapy. Unfortunately, the most important obstacle facing transplantation today is the great shortage of organs throughout the world.
The shortage of cadaver organs imposes a severe limit to the number of patients who could potentially benefit from transplantation. In an attempt to address this problem, the majority of transplant centres continue to rely on living donors as an important kidney source. A kidney transplanted from a living donor can also last 50% longer than one from a deceased donor.
More than 98,000 people in the United States are waiting for a new kidney. Tragically, one-third of them will die before a kidney from a deceased donor becomes available. Altruistic organ donation is the new frontier that could significantly increase the supply of organs. Mark was one of the altruistic living organ donor last year, he volunteered to anonymously donate one of his kidneys to Juan who was diagnosed with a polycystic kidney disease, and only a kidney transplant would have saved his life.