A LOCAL Assembly Member aims to raise awareness that living donors can save lives.

Jack Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, said every year 250 people die waiting for a kidney transplant but there are not enough kidneys donated for everyone who needs one.

The average waiting time for a kidney transplant from a deceased donor is approximately two years and in rare cases can be over five years.

Kidneys are the most common organ donated by living people but other organs can be donated, including part of a liver, a segment of a lung and part of the small bowel.

A transplant from a matched living donor provides the best outcome for the recipient.

Mr Sargeant said: "Living donors help save and transform lives, offering more patients with kidney failure, and other diseases, the possibility of a successful transplant."

Peoples’ lives can be changed by a living donation, resulting in shorter waiting times, avoiding dialysis and an improvement to the quality and length of someone's life. Everyone has two kidneys and a healthy person can lead a completely normal life with only one working kidney.

The focus on living donation coincides with World Kidney Day on Thursday, March 14 and highlights how the selfless and generous act of becoming a living organ donor can improve another person’s life.

The AM added: "Often, living donors are close relatives or friends but you can still donate an organ to someone you do not know. I would encourage people across Wales, and the UK as a whole, to consider becoming a living donor – it’s a decision that could potentially be life changing for someone."