1. Patients can receive a healthy kidney from a deceased or living donor.
2. While in the past living kidney donors were primarily blood relatives, in recent years transplant kidneys have been donated between friends, coworkers and even perfect strangers.
3. The average wait time for a deceased donor kidney in Illinois is four to six years.
4. One way to circumvent the wait for a transplant is to find a living donor. Living donors are matched to potential recipients based on a number of clinical requirements such as blood type and antigen matches.
5. A transplant patient will depend on anti-rejection medications after the surgery for the duration of their organ's life span.
6. Overall in the US the patient survival rate one year after transplant is 98 percent.
7. Kidney transplantation is a treatment option, not a cure. A patient with chronic kidney disease will still have chronic kidney disease after a transplant, just as a diabetic patient will still have diabetes after a transplant.
8. Patients who receive a successful kidney transplant no longer have to rely on dialysis.
9. Most kidney transplants in Illinois are done laparoscopically, meaning the incisions on both the recipient and living donor are small. This translates into quicker recovery times -- about four weeks for the recipient and 2-3 weeks for the living donor.
10. For the most part, living donors go on to lead full, healthy lives. They will not need to rely on medication after a transplant.
-- Source: National Kidney Foundation of Illinois