Canadian Blood Services, on behalf of Canada’s organ and tissue donation and transplantation community, is excited to announce the Kidney Paired Donation program has reached 1,000 transplants.

Meaghan helped her young neighbour, Stephanie, go on to enjoy life to the fullest by making a lifesaving kidney donation. Her decision to donate helped save two lives and made a lasting impact on many more.

What’s the Kidney Paired Donation program? 

The program gives donors who are not a match to their family member or friend another way to help that person receive a kidney transplant. It also gives people who want to donate to anyone in need, a non-directed anonymous donor (NDAD), the possibility of helping more than one patient. The benefit of a national program is that it includes pairs from all over Canada. This increases the chance of patients finding their match. Without the Kidney Paired Donation program, a match from another province would never be found. 

How does it work?

Changing lives together

This milestone and the success of the program would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of living donation and transplant programs and health-care professionals across Canada. The Kidney Paired Donation program is an example of how interprovincial organ sharing and health systems work together to improve the health of people in Canada beyond provincial borders and improve access to transplants for patients nationally.  

If you participated in the Kidney Paired Donation Program, we invite you to download your recognition certificate from Canadian Blood Services.

Download your certificate

Did you know?

1,000 lives forever impacted

These 1,000 donations helped 1,000 people who may have never received a kidney transplant, or who may have waited much longer for one from the deceased donor waiting list.

For years Gurjit’s life was filled with doctor’s appointments and medical procedures. Gurjit’s boyfriend at the time, Shak, was not a match but thanks to the Kidney Paired Donation program she was still able to receive a new kidney. Gurjit and Shak have now started their family and get to experience life in a whole new way.

Gurjit’s story 

Paired exchange 

Donor A wishes to donate to patient A, but they are not a match. Donor B wishes to donate to patient B, but they are not a match. However, donor A matches with patient B and donor B matches with patient A. A paired exchange is then completed. 

N-Way exchange or closed chain

Similar to a paired exchange, except there are more pairs included and the donor of the last pair matches to the patient of the first pair.

Domino exchange or domino chain  

An NDAD donates to the patient of an incompatible pair. There can be multiple pairs in a domino exchange. The exchange is complete when the donor of the last pair donates to a patient on a transplant waitlist.

Canadian Blood Services’ role 

The Kidney Paired Donation program is run by Canadian Blood Services. Potential living donors and transplant candidates are entered into the Canadian Transplant Registry (CTR), a secure database managed by Canadian Blood Services. The CTR uses sophisticated algorithms to identify potential matches of transplant candidates with potential donors and NDADs. Before the transplants can proceed, medical teams determine if it’s possible to complete all the matches.



~3,965 km

21 vs. 11

Canadians are on a waiting list for a kidney transplant. 

Non-directed anonymous donors helped 681 people receive a kidney transplant. 

The farthest distance a kidney was shipped.

A kidney from a living donor lasts, on average, 21 years, compared to 11 years for a deceased donor.

Learn more

Visit the KPD program data dashboard 

Reaching 1,000 transplants was only possible thanks to each and every donor; without all of them, we could never have reached this milestone. Donors make all the difference. 

© Copyright 2024 Canadian Blood Services. All Rights Reserved.
Publications and reports | Media | Corporate policies | Privacy/Legal | Site Map | Contact us
Canadian Blood Services acknowledges the funding of provincial, territorial and federal governments. The views expressed in this document are those of Canadian Blood Services and do not necessarily reflect those of governments.
Charitable Registration No. 870 157 641 RR0001