Founded in 2004, MatchingDonors is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization supported by memberships,advertisements and donations.
Mission Statement: MatchingDonors.com is a web site created to give people in need of transplant surgery an active way to search for a live organ donor. Our goal is to increase the number of transplant surgeries and improve awareness of live organ donation. The most common organs transplanted from a live donor are single kidney and liver lobes.
MatchingDonors.com was co-founded in 2004 by Mr. Paul Dooley and Dr. Jeremiah Lowney. Mr. Dooley from Canton, MA met with his Internist, Dr. Lowney from Boston, MA. and related a story about his father who was told that although he was very ill from cancer and was told he would be in need of a new kidney soon he would not be placed on the national transplantation waiting list. The reason was because the list was so long that by the time a kidney would become available Mr. Dooley’s father would not still be alive. Obviously this was troubling. Mr. Dooley also the founder an award winning Internet jobboard called CollegeJobBoard.com. He asked Dr. Lowney if a web site matching potential live organ donors to people in need of organ transplant would help the problem of organ shortage. Both men decided to research the issue and found a National Kidney Foundation survey of 1,000 people, which were asked if they would consider live organ donation to a complete stranger. To their surprise, 25% said they would consider the donation. The co-founders then got to work to create the web site.
The problem: In 1993 there were 31,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list. In 2005 there are 90,000 people. There are approximately 17 people a day dying while waiting on the list. Although live organ donation has been performed successfully since 1954 there are only six to seven thousand live organ donations per year. Most of the transplanted organs at this time are from cadavers, which become available at a minutes notice to the potential recipient. The newly harvested organ is distributed through United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) who maintains the national waiting list under contract from the federal government. UNOS also attempts to increase organ donation awareness. Unfortunately, organ donation has been stagnant over the years and there is a severe shortage of available cadaver organs.
One answer: With our growing list of potential live organ donors signing on to MatchingDonors.com it is becoming increasingly clear that there are thousands of wonderful, altruistic and compassionate people willing to help a fellow human being. It is our belief that many of the potential donors would have never considered live organ donation if it wasn’t for the increased awareness due to our site. MatchingDonors.com augments the current failing system by allowing people in need of organ transplantation the ability to search for potential altruistic live organ donors over the World Wide Web. A potential recipient places his or her profile on the web site and can then review email of potential donors interested in helping. The profile can consist of any information the patient feels comfortable sharing with viewers. Typically the profile states the patient’s personal history, current situation, blood type and whether they can travel. It is up to the patient to provide their profile and the staff at MatchingDonors.com can assist them if they wish. Once a patient is contacted they may ask the potential donor to contact the transplant hospital coordinated in charge of the patients care. A test kit can then be provided to the potential donor for blood sampling at their local lab. This begins the process of finding a match. The patient’s insurance provider pays for all the pre-operative testing. MatchingDonors.com can also send press releases to organizations and newsletters, which patients may request. MatchingDonors.com suggests a patient fee to place their profile on the web site. The fee is waived if the patients are unable to afford the cost.
Once a match is made the rules and regulations required for a live organ donation apply. MatchingDonors.com is interested in helping develop the match. The transplant protocol is the same for a match made through our web site as it is for any other live organ match. The organ donor is made aware through multiple postings on MatchingDonors.com that financial benefit for their donation is illegal in the United States.
Although it is not required, MatchingDonors.com request that patients provide statistical data to us for record keeping. This data includes the number of email inquiries, potential matches, patient’s tested, successful matches and surgeries performed. They may also provide any personal notes they wish to add.
Based in Canton, Massachusetts., MatchingDonors.com is a company with technical, matching facilitators, editorial and administrative people based throughout the United States.
MatchingDonors.com Medical Director Dr. Jeremiah Lowney is available for interviews from the press and to answer questions from patients, donors and doctors.