Patients with kidney disease, clinical staff, charities and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) organisations are invited to a launch event which aims to encourage living kidney donations among BAME communities.

Among BAME patients who have a kidney transplant, the majority in north London are from a living donation – where a healthy person donates one of their kidneys. But despite 50% of people requiring transplants being from BAME communities, only 14% of all those signed up to the living kidney donors programme are from these communities. The LINK initiative was set up in order to increase these figures because a transplant will have a greater chance of success if the organ comes from someone with a similar ethnicity.

Living kidney donor programmes like the National Living Donor Kidney Sharing Scheme (NLDKSS) pair donors and recipients across the UK – kidneys are donated through a chain of recipients so that patients can receive the best matched organ.

Prafula Shah, who will be talking at the event about her own experience of becoming a living donor, hopes to inspire other people from BAME communities to become living donors. She said: “My niece and I joined the NLDKSS to improve her chances of finding a match. Fortunately, a match was found on our first run of the scheme and we had our surgeries at the Royal Free Hospital in March 2018.”

To find out more about Prafula’s story, please read here.

The event, which takes place at the Royal Free Hospital on Thursday 3 October, will be hosted by two-time transplant recipient and chair of the Royal Free Organ Donation Committee, David Myers, and feature stories from live donors, recipients and patients waiting for kidney transplants.

Organisers hope that the event will bring together key community organisations that can work towards increasing donation rates and engaging with harder-to-reach communities.