While writing the two blog entries on why kidney patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) don’t find live donors (Dec 5 and Dec 18), I realized that helping kidney patients find donors would become my new volunteer effort. I’ve become familiar with the academic literature regarding the benefits of live kidney transplants. Yet, I’ve also read about the disappointingly low number of live donor transplants being performed. I just knew there had to be a way that I could help guide kidney patients to find a donor.

Within a few days of posting those blog entries, I was contacted by Harvey Mysel of the Living Kidney Donors Network. The mission of the LKDN is to save lives by increasing the number of living kidney transplants. Most of the LKDN efforts revolve around education. It educates hospitals about the need for community outreach. It educates the public about the need to proactively approach a friend or relative and volunteer to be a live donor. And it educates kidney patients, training them in the techniques to clearly communicate their situation to their friends and families, and more importantly, to give patients the confidence to ask them to consider being a donor.

The LKDN has started to explore the use of social media and the web. It just offered its first webinars this week. I attended one and found it to be an excellent source of information. Here’s what Mr. Mysel says:

I want to give you an update about the upcoming LKDN webinars. The response to webinars has been overwhelming. More than 300 people 400 people have now registered, To accommodate the demand, I’ve added 2 more 4 more webinar dates. Two nonprofit organizations called this morning to talk about my facilitating a similar webinar just for their members. My inbox is full of many requests for more info…it’s a bit too much for one day…..but all good!!

If you are interested in being a live donor, or if you know someone with ESRD, please register for a LKDN webinar. Just go to www.lkdn.org/webinars.html