Why Transplant Matters

More than 11,000 Ontarians have end-stage kidney disease. They require renal replacement therapy – either dialysis or a kidney transplant from a deceased or living donor – in order to live.

Family walking outside in cityAs our population ages, more and more people are living with chronic and end-stage kidney disease. Thus, the demand for renal replacement therapy is increasing each year.

Kidney transplantation, especially living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT) is the best treatment for most patients with ESKD. Transplants generally lead to longer patient survival and better quality of life than dialysis.

But there is a shortage of transplantable kidneys, because the demand far exceeds the supply available. In Ontario, this means the average wait time for a deceased donor kidney transplant (DDKT) is about 4-5 years. Due to this shortage, about 5% of those on the wait list die before they can receive a transplant. Pursuing living donor kidney transplant (LDKT) can increase patients’ access to transplant and potentially shorten their waiting time to 1 year or less.