The Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation’s story is one of passion, innovation, hope and life, and it all began in 2000 with Dr. Michael Rees.
The Passion to Create a New Reality
Through his work as a transplant surgeon and director of renal transplantation, Dr. Rees saw a harsh reality for patients facing kidney failure. Ongoing dialysis treatments took a financial, physical and emotional toll on patients, and many died while waiting for a kidney transplant. Kidneys from deceased donors simply could not meet the overwhelming need.
What could a new reality look like and how could Dr. Rees help? A new approach to living organ donation was the answer.
An Innovative Approach
With the help of his father, computer programmer Alan Rees, Dr. Rees designed the first prototype of a paired kidney donation matching system in 2000. The computer program matched willing, but incompatible, donor and recipient pairs. Just four years later, Dr. Rees completed the first transplant using an internet-based matching system.
Providing Hope for Patients & Families
In 2006, together with a dedicated group passionate about paired donation, Dr. Rees founded the non-profit Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation. It was one of the first national organizations devoted to kidney paired donation. Today, the APKD provides hope and a higher quality of life for kidney patients and their families.
Breaking Chains by Making Them
In 2007, the APKD performed the world’s first non-simultaneous altruistic donor chain. Now, donor chains are more common than single swaps that must be completed on the same day. Thanks to this breakthrough, more recipients than ever are receiving the life-changing gift of a kidney transplant.
The Alliance for Paired Kidney Donation was the first to arrange an intercontinental chain, which included matching donors from Greece and Trinidad and Tobago. This chain also included ten other recipients from eight U.S. transplant centers. By bringing countries together through the Global Kidney Exchange Program, the APKD is addressing both the financial and health struggles associated with kidney disease at home and around the world.
Join us in This Movement
Through extensive research and innovative technology, the APKD has helped change the way the world looks at kidney donations, but our work is not done. Whether you are a practitioner, kidney patient, donor or a professional in the transplant field, we invite you to partner with us. Together we can make a significant difference in the lives of kidney patients around the globe.
Help us continue this story of hope and healing by becoming a living kidney donor, financial supporter or advocate for paired kidney donation.