Type 2 Diabetes Patients Can Now Donate Kidneys For Transplants

March is National Kidney Month, and with over 90,000 people in the US awaiting a kidney transplant, the demand for organs far exceeds the supply. However, a recent policy change is helping to address this gap. Under strict criteria, individuals with type 2 diabetes are now eligible to become kidney donors, presenting a significant opportunity. It is estimated that about 36 million Americans have type 2 diabetes, meaning that a larger pool of potential donors is now available.

While individuals with type 1 diabetes are still unable to donate kidneys, this new development brings hope for patients like Lucretia Wilson, who has been waiting for her second kidney transplant since 2015. Born with polycystic kidney disease, a hereditary disorder causing cyst clusters to develop and impair kidney function, Wilson is eager to avoid dialysis. The recently updated criteria by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network now allow individuals with type 2 diabetes to donate, as long as they have no organ damage or significant lifetime risk of complications. The Mayo Clinic adds that potential living donors must also be at least 60 years old, have no family history of kidney disease, and maintain a healthy weight. The expansion of the donor pool offers new hope for Wilson and others like her, providing improved chances for a successful transplant and a healthy future for both recipients and donors.

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