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Living Donation

Organ recipient Tuwanda walking her dog

Living Donation

Living donation was adopted in the U.S. due to the national shortage of organs. The VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center has become a world leader in pioneering living donor organ donations.

Living donation is the transferring of an organ from a living person to someone in need of a transplant. It truly is a heroic act that gives the greatest gift possible — the gift of life. The donor is usually a close family member such as a parent, child, brother or sister. It can also be a more distant family member, spouse, friend or a good Samaritan.

Donating an organ to a loved one in need can be a very positive experience for the donor. To learn more, visit our living kidney or living liver donor program pages.

Click here to take a quick online health assessment to see if you are eligible to give the gift of life.

Cost of Living Organ Donations

The expense of the donation, which includes lab work, X-rays and doctors’ and hospital charges, is paid by the recipient's insurance.

The donor will be responsible for lost wages due to time off of work, travel expenses to and from the transplant center and follow-up care. Some employers may allow this time to be taken as sick leave.

Notifying Family and Friends

You must have a caregiver identified in order to proceed with living donation. Some living donors prefer to remain anonymous; however, your significant other should be included on your decision to donate.

Learn more about this process by calling (804) 828-4104 and ask to speak to one of our living donor coordinators.

One Family's Story of Living Donation

Learn how one sister's gift to another changed this family forever.

Deceased Organ Donation

Everyone is eligible to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. You may learn more about deceased donation and register at Donate Life Virginia.

Your donations could save the lives of nine people, give sight to two people and help enhance the lives of more than 50 people.


Once you have decided to become a donor, the most important step is telling your family. Most Americans support donation, but few have told family members their decision to donate. Share your wishes to become a donor by filling out a donor card and family notification card. [PDF]

Learn more about the process, and read frequently asked questions, at Donate Life Virginia.

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