Helpful information, tools and resources for learning about, and planning for, a living donor kidney transplant are now available in a handy complete booklet titled Kidney Transplant From a Living Donor
. The booklet brings together individual handouts that are also available.
The multi-page booklet is available online as a PDF and is also being distributed in print form via BC’s kidney care clinics. It features an easy-to-follow layout that guides patients and donors through specific information, such as "Questions to ask my kidney care team" and "Where am I in the transplant process?" and includes room for patients to make notes.
Sharon Gradin, BC Renal project manager, says, “Our patient partners suggested having the option of a full booklet in addition to the individual handouts to suit different preferences for consuming information. Essentially, patients can choose what works best for them.”
The guide is a key part of Transplant First, a BC Renal and BC Transplant initiative focused on standardizing pre-transplant processes. The initiative’s goal is to ensure every kidney patient who is a potential transplant candidate is identified, assessed and supported along the path toward transplantation as the treatment of choice, including assistance in finding a living donor.
Patient partner Bill Dear, who donated one of his kidneys to his sister in 1978 - which extended her life by almost 40 years - also became a kidney transplant recipient in 2020, in his case from a deceased donor. Bill shared his thoughts on the step-by-step guide when it was first available as individual handouts:
“I have seen how overwhelming the news of kidney failure can be,” said Bill. “When that happens to you, having a step-by-step program to educate and guide you helps you to focus on where you want your life to go.”
Bill continued, “From my experience, the end result of a transplant is much better than any other choice, and the best choice in transplant is pre-emptive transplant. This is normally only available by having a living donor. The step-by-step program helps patients to learn how to find a living donor and to take one step at a time through the process.”
Transplant First aims to have patients find a living kidney donor match before they need dialysis treatment. However, the step-by-step guide can also be helpful for patients who need dialysis treatment beforehand.