• What are the risks of donating my kidney? While specific risks should be discussed with your medical team, in general the risks of donating a kidney are minimal. Life expectancy for a kidney donor is normal. Some pain will be experienced but will diminish in the days following the surgery. Complications, if any, are generally short term and handled well with good medical care. Each individual has their own lifestyle, habits, and health issues that can be addressed and discussed with the living donor team to evaluate their own personal risks.
  • How long is the donor in the hospital?  Generally, 2 days for most donors.
  • When can the donor return to normal activities and work?  4-6 weeks for most donors.
  • After donation, do I need to follow a particular diet?  No, there are no restrictions. Excess drinking is not recommended for donors and non-donors alike.
  • How are my costs covered for medical expenses, travel, etc.?  Donor’s testing and surgery expenses are paid for by Maddie’s insurance company. All incidental expenses like travel, missed wages, meals, childcare that donor may incur will be REIMBURSED.
  • What if I am located in a different city than Chicago?  Travel and related expenses (hotel, food, child care, lost wages etc.) will be REIMBURSED for you and a spouse/loved one to travel to Chicago  for surgery.
  • What if I want to donate my kidney but not travel to Chicago? The kidney donor would need to have the surgery at Loyola.
  • How do I know if I am a match for Maddie?  Loyola Hospital would discuss such details with the donor. Due to HIPPA regulations, the recipient would not be notified before or during the testing process. In fact, the recipient would be the last to know when and if the donor was a match. If you would like us to know the outcome of the testing you should feel free to tell us.
  • What if I am not a match for Maddie? You can enter the PAIRED EXCHANGE process You would enter into this program with Maddie as her “pair”. You would go through the same rigorous testing and evaluation process, but instead be matched to another recipient. At the same time, the hospital and transplant team would be evaluating another living donor better suited for Maddie. Then together, both pairs would be giving and receiving the gift of life through a swap. With this process, you not only give Maddie the gift of life, you give another person the gift of life as well! As an example: You and Maddie enter into the paired exchange. Jack and Jane Smith enter into the paired exchange. Maddie and Jane both need kidneys. You and Maddie are not a direct match, and Jack is not a direct match to Jane….you SWAP partners! You give your kidney to Jane, and Jack gives his kidney to Maddie.For more illustration of  the Paired Exchange, visit Loyola’s website on Paired Exchanges at www.loyolamedicine.org/transplat/pay-it-forward-program and/or watch this video:

  • How do I know I am eligible to donate my kidney? You should call the Living Donor Coordinator at Loyola at 708-327-4897 and say, “I am calling to get tested for Madeline Becker.” Loyola will work with you to determine your eligibility. You will receive a thorough physical evaluation as well as have multiple opportunities to talk to the donor medical team professionals at any time during the process.
  • Why should I donate my kidney?  You should only donate your kidney if you are completely comfortable doing so.  But if you do, know that you are giving the gift of life to at least one person, if not many.

This information is not medical advice. The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We strongly recommended that your care and treatment decisions be made in consultation with your healthcare professional team.

The Loyola Medical Center website (www.loyolamedicine.org/transplant/kidney-transplant) has good information regarding living kidney donors and you are encouraged to consult their website.