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About Organ & Tissue Donation

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Living Donation

In response to the shortage of organs available for transplantation, living donation has emerged as a potential option for relatives, loved ones, friends and others to save and enhance people’s lives. At Gift of Hope, we are involved in deceased donation only, but we serve as strong advocates for living donation because of the lifesaving and life-enhancing outcomes it can produce. View the information and links on this page to learn more about living donation and its benefits. 

What to Know About Living Donation

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  • What is a Living Donor?

    A living donor gives one kidney, a segment of the liver, a lobe of the lung or part of the pancreas or intestine for transplantation, usually to a family member. Through these gifts, living donors offer their loved ones or friends an alternative to enduring a typically long wait to receive an organ from a deceased donor.

    There are two types of living donation:

    Directed Donation

    Biologically-related donors are blood relatives, such as parents, brothers/sisters and adult children.

    Unrelated donors can include people who have some type of social connection with a transplant candidate, such as a spouse or significant other, friend, or coworker. Other unrelated donors may be acquaintances or even strangers who have learned about a transplant candidate.

    Non-Directed Donation

    These individuals donate to an anonymous candidate on the national transplant waiting list. Some of these donors may eventually meet the transplant recipients, but only if both parties agree.

    To learn more about living organ donation, visit the Transplant Living Web site or download Living Donation: Information you need to know, published by the United Network for Organ Sharing.

  • Living Donation FAQs

    What is a living donor?

    A living donor has given part of an organ (liver, lung or pancreas) or one kidney from his/her own living body for transplantation, usually to a family member. A living donor's remaining kidney will do the work of two kidneys. Because kidneys are matched genetically, donation from a family member may be more successful than from an unrelated donor.

    How can I become a living donor?

    Transplant centers with living donor transplant programs coordinate living donations. Organizations like Gift of Hope coordinate donation after the donor’s death only. To learn more about becoming a living donor, talk to a transplant center that offers a program in your area.

  • How to Become a Living Donor

    Transplant centers with living donor transplant programs coordinate living donations directly. To learn more about becoming a living donor, contact a transplant center that offers a program in your area.

    Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Ill. | (708) 684-7100

    Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Chicago | (312) 227-4599

    Loyola University Medical Center Transplant Center, Maywood, Ill. | (708) 327-4897

    Memorial Medical Center, Springfield, Ill. | (217) 788-3000

    Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago | (312) 926-2000

    OSF Saint Francis Hospital, Peoria, Ill. | (309) 655-4101 (Option 2)

    Rush University Medical Center, Chicago | (312) 947-4438

    The University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago‎ | (312) 733-5283

    University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, Chicago‎ | (312) 996-8330

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Our Mission

To save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation.

Our Vision

That every opportunity for organ and tissue donation is successful.

Our Values

  • Honor the Gifts
  • Strive for Excellence
  • Build a Dedicated Team
  • Inspire Our Communities


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Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
Headquarters: 425 Spring Lake Drive, Itasca, IL 60143
Chicago Office: 2600 S. Michigan Avenue, Suite 416, Chicago, IL 60616
Springfield Office: 2401 Memphis Drive, Springfield, IL 62702

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