The wait can take years, but doctors are sending out an important message: your best shot may be right in front of you.
Living donation offers another choice for transplant candidates, as was the case for Jessica Gresham of Bowie, Texas.
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Gresham was battling two liver diseases: primary sclerosing cholangitis and autoimmune hepatitis, however, she wasn't in dire need of a new liver and did not qualify to be on the wait list.
Still, doctors told her a new liver would be the quickest solution to her medical problems.
No one in her family was a match, so her husband, Jonathan, was tested. He matched.
"You know how you get these gut feelings? I knew it was going to be me from the start," says Jonathan Gresham.
The decision wasn't easy for Jessica, who was concerned about both she and her husband in surgery and recovery at the same time, which could make things difficult at home.
However, Jonathan says the decision for him was easy.
The Greshams underwent their transplant surgeries on April 10, 2018, and have both successfully recovered.
Transplant surgeon Dr. Giuliano Testa at Baylor University Medical Center Dallas says the Greshams story is a testament to the benefits of living donations.
"We have so many relatives, friends, church members, community members, workforce members that step forward and say, 'I know you have a problem, I'm willing to help,'" says Dr. Testa.
Today, one in four living donors is not biologically related to the recipient.
To learn more about living donor liver transplants, click here.