Why Awareness Matters

    The skyrocketing rate of kidney disease, the enormous annual cost of dialysis and the human suffering of end stage renal disease are the face of America’s kidney deficit.  It’s one of the most complex medical issues facing our society.  While complex problems require complex solutions, experts agree that increased awareness about living kidney donation is a broad solution that can trigger widespread positive change. The kidney transplant/donation community is rallying around CrowdSource for Life because our show about selfless giving features living kidney donors.  It’s expected that this kind of attention will begin new conversations about living kidney donation in diverse communities around the country.  With greater awareness, it’s believed progress can be made on these enormous challenges.

    America’s Kidney Deficit

    Roughly 8,000 people die each year waiting on a kidney that never arrives. And the number of people waiting on a kidney transplant fluctuates over more than 100,000 at any time. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands with kidney disease represent the next wave in this health care crisis. The numbers simply don’t add up to solve America’s kidney deficit. Only 3 in 1000 people die in a way that allows for an organ transplant, meaning if everyone in the U.S signed the back of their driver’s license to be a deceased organ donor, there still would not be enough donated kidneys to eliminate the deficit. Experts agree an increase in living kidney donation is the only way to turn this issue around. CrowdSource for Life is a 90-minute feature film. The show explores the many-faceted act of selfless giving featuring a cast of extreme altruists: living kidney donors. CrowdSource for Life represents a chance to elevate the conversation about living kidney donation.
    As our cast of living kidney donors tell their stories of selfless giving and how it affected them and those around them, the context of kidney donation will reach a large audience across the country. Experts agree that such large-scale exposure for the topic can spur interest to learn more.

    Racial Disparity in Kidney Transplant

    Many factors contribute to the racial disparity in kidney transplant. Statistics show white persons are four times more likely to receive a kidney transplant than an African American person. This is the case despite African Americans having higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure than other racial cohorts. Those are the health conditions that put people at further risk for organ failures. Additionally, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Native Americans, have more than double the likelihood of receiving a kidney transplant than African Americans. Once a person is on the kidney wait list, equity is assured. It’s documented and verified. The problems the cause the racial disparity in kidney transplant occur before a person reaches the waitlist. Many roots of this equity problem are the same systemic and cultural issues we see in our other institutions, which means the first step to change is awareness.
    Maitri River Productions has a mission of making art for social change. We’ve gathered a diverse cast from across the country to tell their kidney donation stories. Our funding partners understand the potential public good we can create with CrowdSource for Life. Our viewers potentially could see themselves in these donation stories and more diverse communities are expected to begin having conversations about the potential of living kidney donation because of the national broadcast. This is another reason why the kidney community is rallying around CrowdSource for Life.