National Capital Area & Virginia

Give the Ultimate Gift: The Gift of Life

--Pro Football Player Reed Doughty in NKF Public Service Announcement

Facts About Organ Donation & Transplantation

  • More than 120,000 Americans are on the waiting list for organs. Every month, 2,000 new names are added to the list, and about 18 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant.
  • Of the 121,000, more than 99,000 need a kidney. Fewer than 17,000 people receive one each year.
  • An average of 13 people die each day while waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • Most people have two kidneys, but it is possible to live with only one.
  • The average wait to receive a deceased donor kidney in the U.S. is over five years.
  • In the Commonwealth of Virginia, 2,732 people are waiting for kidney transplants. In Maryland, there are 1,960 patients waiting, and in Washington, DC, that number is 1,028.That's nearly 6,000 individuals in the tri-state area. According to statistics, if nothing changes, nearly 4,000 of those people will die waiting.
  • One organ donor can save 7 lives. Organs that can be donated include kidneys (2), heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines.
  • Tissue donation can enhance the lives of more than 50 people. Donated heart valves, bone, skin, corneas and connective tissues can be used in vital medical procedures such as heart valve replacements, limb reconstruction following tumor surgery, hip and knee joint reconstruction and in correcting curvature of the spine.

Organ and tissue donation helps others by giving them a second chance at life. Register to become an organ donor today!

Use the links below to register online:

DC Residents

Maryland Residents

Virginia Residents

Living Donation

  • Living donation is the best treatment for kidney failure. A live organ can come from a family member, friend, or even from a stranger. Thanks to improved medications, a genetic link between the donor and recipient is no longer required to ensure a successful transplant.
  • The organ most commonly given by a living donor is the kidney. People usually have two kidneys, and one is all that is needed to live a normal life.
  • You don't have to be an exact blood match with your intended recipient. Some organs are so close to being a match that doctors can use innovative techniques to decrease the likelihood of rejection.
  • Even if you are not a match for your intended recipient, you can still donate on his/her behalf. That's because of paired exchanges - an intricate process of mixing and matching recipients and their donors in an ever-widening pool until the right pairings are found.

To learn more about Living Donation:

Q&A on Living Donation:

Ronald D. Paul (center), President of the Ronald D. Paul Companies and Chairman of EagleBank, with his two donors, Kathy McCallum and Steven Paul. Ron received his first kidney transplant in 1990 from his brother Steven, then 18 years later when that kidney began to fail, his friend and colleague Kathy offered to be tested and was a match.

Dennis Harris, coach of Northwood High School's football team, had been married for less than two years when he was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2011. His wife Darlene stepped up to be his donor and the transplant took place in the summer of 2012. Darlene says her life has changed because she sees that her little kidney has given he husband a second chance at life.

Nicole DiLisio (left) donated a kidney to Rachel Schreibman in May 2013, Rachel's second. The two are co-founders of Kindred Kidneys, an expressive arts and creative support organization for individuals affected by kidney disease. Rachel was diagnosed with kidney failure due to IgA Nephropathy at the age of 23. Her identical twin Stephanie donated the first kidney.