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Banner to host living kidney donor celebration

Media are invited to attend and cover the event to be held April 20

TUCSON (April 19, 2024) – April is Donate Life Month and the Banner – University Medicine living donor kidney transplant program is hosting a celebration to honor kidney donors. This Giving-While-Living celebration will bring together more than 50 people who donated a kidney to save the life of someone in need. The event will be held on Saturday, April 20 at the University of Arizona main mall, 1303 E. University Blvd., 85719 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  

According to the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona, one in nine American adults have kidney disease and only 10% of those are aware that they have the disease many gaining awareness only after significant and irreparable damage has been done. Living donor kidney transplants last longer and provide better quality of life compared to comparable deceased donor kidney transplants, and the transplanted kidney usually works immediately reversing many of the complications of kidney failure.

In Arizona alone, there are more than 1,000 people in need of a kidney transplant and to date, and thanks to the selflessness of living donors in our community, the Banner – University Medicine kidney transplant program has provided over 60 living donor kidney transplants over the last 5 years, providing a lifeline to those diagnosed with kidney disease. The transplant program also performs paired kidney donations, overcoming the barrier of having a healthy but incompatible living donor. 

In 2023, the program was able to pair and transplant the kidneys from two living donors and two of its own patients with kidney disease, while also recently completing two national paired kidney donation transplantations between patients in Arizona and Illinois as well as Arizona and New York.

“On the eve of Donate Life Month, this event is our way of honoring and celebrating living donors, for their generous, fearless, and selfless organ donation that saves lives. Our society is forever in their debt," said Aneesha Shetty, MD, director of the Banner – University Medicine Living Donor Kidney Transplant Program. 

Banner Health is one of the largest, secular nonprofit health care systems in the country. In addition to 33 hospitals, Banner also operates an academic medicine division, Banner – University Medicine, and Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, a partnership with one of the world’s leading cancer programs, MD Anderson Cancer Center. Banner’s array of services includes a health insurance division, employed physician groups, outpatient surgery centers, urgent care locations, home care and hospice services, retail pharmacies, stand-alone imaging centers, physical therapy and rehabilitation, behavioral health services, a research division and a nursing registry. To make health care easier, 100% of Banner-employed doctors are available for virtual visits and patients may also reserve spots at Banner Urgent Care locations and can book appointments online with many Banner-employed doctors. Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health also has locations in California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit

Banner - University Medical Center South Banner - University Medical Center Tucson Banner Medical Group

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