Living Donation

Give the gift of a fighting chance

When you commit to be a living donor, you are giving someone a fighting chance to live a longer and healthier life. Living donors are able to donate a kidney, a portion of their liver or lung, or stem cells. Living donors can donate to a friend or family member (direct donor) or to an anonymous recipient (non-direct donor).

You are not just saving the life of that one person, but you’re changing the lives of all the people who love them. It really is the gift of life.

Ashley, living liver donor

“You are not just saving the life of that one person, but you’re changing the lives of all the people who love them. It really is the gift of life.”

Ashley, living liver donor

Register as an Organ and/or Tissue Donor

If you want to donate one of your kidneys to a family member or a friend who needs a transplant but medical tests show that you are not a good match for them, you may still be able to help them get a transplant. Another potential donor and their transplant candidate could be in the same situation. You can register as a pair with the Kidney Paired Donation Program which tries to find potential donors who can be matched to transplant candidates anywhere in the country.

Did You Know?

  • Every patient who receives a transplant from a living donor comes off the wait-list for an organ from a deceased donor. This shortens the wait-time for other patients on the transplant waitlist.
  • The donation and transplant operations can be planned for a time when both the potential donor and the transplant candidate are in the best possible health. Being in good health improves the recovery after surgery.
  • Many people who have donated an organ say that helping someone in need is a positive personal experience.
  • If you have two healthy kidneys and one is donated, the other kidney will work harder to make up for the missing kidney.
  • You can donate a portion of your liver and it will grow back to its normal size in a matter of months. The donated portion will also grow to normal size in the recipient

Living Donation FAQs

01 - How do I become a living organ donor?

Healthy adults can become living donors after extensive medical testing determines it is safe for them. Living donors are able to donate a kidney, a portion of their liver or lung, or stem cells. 

You will have a medical examination to determine if it is safe for you to donate, and if you are a match for your intended recipient. Donors and recipients who are well matched have a better chance of a successful transplant. 

If your loved one needs a kidney transplant and you are not a match to them, you could still donate your kidney and help them receive a much needed transplant from someone else. Willing, living donors without a specific intended recipient may also register in the Kidney Paired Donation Program. If you are a potential donor or recipient interested in the Living Kidney Donor program, please contact the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia toll-free at 1-888-362-8555 or (902) 473-5501.

Living donor liver transplantation is possible because the liver is able to regenerate. Up to one half of the liver is surgically removed for transplant into a recipient with liver failure. If you are interested in donating a part of your liver, you can find more information on the Living Liver Donor Program at the University Health Network in Toronto, Ontario website.

02 - What is the Kidney Paired Donation Program?

The Kidney Paired Donation Program improves the hope of finding a compatible match for organ transplantation. Canadian Blood Services manages this program which allows for donor-recipient pairs who are not a match to each other, or a single non-directed anonymous donor, to enter a registry to increase the chances of finding a match for a kidney transplant.

03 - Is there any support for my expenses if I become a living donor?

Yes, there is support for expenses incurred. Since the inception of the program in 2014, the Living Donor Reimbursement Program has provided reimbursement to twenty three individuals who donated organs or stem cells to fellow Island residents. 

You will be reimbursed for out-of-pocket travel and living expenses if you choose to be a living donor for a PEI resident, or if you choose to enter the Kidney Paired Donation Program. Expenses related to travel, accommodation, meals, parking, and income loss may be eligible. For more information, please contact the Provincial Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Manager: 

Email: organandtissue@gov.pe.ca

Phone: 902-368-5920

Mailing Address:
Organ and Tissue Donation
Sullivan Building (3rd Floor)
16 Fitzroy Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N8

04 - How do I apply for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses?

The necessary forms can be found here: Living Donor Reimbursement Application and Information. If you are unable to access them, please contact the Provincial Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Manager.

Email: organandtissue@gov.pe.ca

Phone: 902-368-5920

Mailing Address: 
Organ and Tissue Donation
Sullivan Building (3rd Floor)
16 Fitzroy Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N8                            

All receipts and official documentation for your claim for reimbursement should be submitted to the Provincial Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Manager within 90 days after the transplant procedure.