Living Kidney Donor: What is a Directed Donation?

Ways to be a Living Kidney Donor

There was a previous post about Your Secret Kidney Donor List about who you might donate your kidney to while you are alive. If you chose a specific person to give your kidney to, that would be a Directed Donation

There are 4 basic ways to be a living kidney donor

  • Directed
  • Paired Exchange
  • Non-directed
  • Advanced

Directed Donation

If you have a relative or loved one who has kidney issues and needs a kidney transplant, you may want to give your kidney directly to them and no one else. That is called a Directed Donation. You donate specifically to that person. This is similar to the Pokemon story with Pikachu and Ash … “I Choose You”.

Typically, the person who needs your kidney (your intended recipient) will already have started the workup to get a kidney at a transplant hospital. You can get the name of the hospital and contact them about wanting to donate your kidney.

You will have to go through testing to be sure you are healthy enough and “a match.” The details of the screening and testing is quite long, and will be saved for later.

Are you healthy but not “a match” for your person? There are still ways to help! Check out Paired Exchange and Advanced Donation for more ideas. 

Consider This!

Who would you choose to directly give your living kidney to?

When would you start to find out if you are healthy and “a match” to donate?




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Glenna Frey, APRN-CNS, is a nephrology nurse who donated her kidney in April 2017 to a stranger.
Amanda Frey, M.A., LMFT, LPC, is a Marriage & Family Therapist living with kidney disease.
Together, they co-founded Kidney Donor Conversations in 2018 to provide education about Living Kidney Donation.