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% Daily Value (DV)
A value in the nutrition facts table that shows how much of your recommended daily intake of a nutrient the food contains; 5% DV or less is a little of a nutrient and 15% DV or more is a lot

Living donor organ donation
A donation from someone over 18 years of age who is usually a close relative, such as a mother, father, brother or sister, but can also be a close friend or family friend. See also living donor paired exchange.


Adolescent medicine specialist
A doctor who specializes in helping teenagers deal with issues such as puberty, drugs, alcohol and birth control while living with a chronic disease

A doctor who specializes in giving you medicine (an anaesthetic) to make you sleep for your transplant surgery

A common condition that occurs when you have lower-than-normal levels of healthy red blood cells; can leave you feeling low in energy

Antibody-mediated rejection
Rejection that occurs when harmful antibodies from your blood attack the transplanted organ

Medications that prevent and treat infections

A test that involves injecting dye into the arteries in a specific part of the body and then taking x-rays to see how well the dye flows through your bloodstream

A hearing test

Attenuated (non-live) vaccine
A vaccine that contains the parts of a virus that have been killed and that enables your body to make antibodies to the virus after transplant.

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Belly breathing
Also known as abdominal breathing, a way of breathing that uses muscles in the belly to help you take slow, deep breaths and relax

A procedure that involves using a needle to take out a tiny piece of a transplanted organ so it can be studied under a microscope

Blood tests

Body image
How a person feels about how they look

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Central venous line (CVL)
A thin tube placed in a vein near your collarbone that allows the transplant team to give you medications and take your blood for tests after your transplant surgery

Child life specialist
An expert in child and teen development who can help you prepare for your time in hospital

A fatty material in the body that, in small amounts, helps to make cell membranes, some hormones and other tissues

A waste product from the muscles that the kidneys remove through your urine; a good indicator of whether the kidneys are working properly

A special test that mixes blood from an organ donor and blood from a recipient to see if the recipient forms antibodies to the donor’s blood; no antibodies (also known as a “negative cross-match”) means the donor is a match

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Deceased donor organ donation
An organ that comes from someone who has died in an intensive care unit in a hospital after an unexpected event (such as a car accident or a serious fall) and whose family has agreed to donate their organ(s)

Delayed graft function
A delay in the normal working of a transplant organ; for kidneys, this is also known as acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and usually lasts a few days or weeks

Dexa scan
Short for dual x-ray absorptiometry, an x-ray of your bones by a special machine that measures the density and strength of your bones

A treatment to remove waste products and excess fluid from your blood when the kidneys can no longer do so

A health care professional who helps you to follow a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight

Drainage tube
A tube that is inserted near your transplant incision (cut) to drain blood and fluid collecting around your new organ

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A test that uses sound waves (also known as sonograms) to take pictures of the size, shape and texture of your heart and how the blood flows through it

Electrocardiogram (ECG)
A test that measures the electrical activity of your heart (such as the strength of your heartbeat) on a graph

Electroencephalogram (EEG)
A test that measures electrical activity in the brain over time

Substances in the body that control how the cells work; examples include sodium, potassium, phosphate and magnesium

A treatment that passes water into the rectum to flush stool (poo) out of the large intestine before surgery

Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
A virus that can give you mononucleosis (mono) or “kissing disease”

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Flow rate and post-void residual test
Tests to find out how much you urinate (pee) and how well your bladder empties

Full urodynamics test
A test that shows the size of the bladder, the amount of pressure in the bladder and the strength of the muscle around the outlet of the bladder (called the urethral sphincter)

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Another name for a transplanted organ

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A doctor who specializes in different blood disorders, clotting and bleeding

A collection of blood inside the body, usually around a wound

Human papilloma virus (HPV)
A sexually transmitted infection that can cause genital warts and lead to cervical cancer

Having high levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood

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Another name for vaccinations, vaccines or “shots”

Medications that suppress, or weaken, the immune system so that it will not attack your transplanted organ; also known as anti-rejection medications

Individual education plan (IEP)
A written plan that describes any accommodations or services you might need to help you with your learning at school

Intravenous (IV) lines
Any tubes that are inserted into a vein in your hands or arms to let your transplant team give you medications and fluids

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Live vaccine
A vaccine that contains a small amount of a living virus and that cannot be given after a transplant because the immune system may not be able to fight the living virus that the vaccine contains.

Living donor organ donation
A donation from someone over 18 years of age who is usually a close relative, such as a mother, father, brother or sister, but can also be a close friend or family friend. See also living donor paired exchange.

Living donor paired exchange program (LDPE)
A program that allows your intended living donor to give a kidney to someone else for whom they are a match and allows that person’s donor (whom you might not know) to give their kidney to you

A clear-to-white fluid that is made of white blood cells, which fight bacteria in the blood, and fluid from the intestines, which contains proteins and fats

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Maintenance medications
Medications that you take routinely after transplant to help control the side effects of other transplant medications or treat other conditions that you have; several of them can usually be stopped when your condition becomes more stable after the transplant

Medic Alert™ bracelet
A bracelet with information about your transplant and any allergies you have that should be worn every day so that you can get the right treatment if you ever need medical help in an emergency

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Nasogastric (NG) tube
A tube that goes in through the nose and down into the stomach to drain fluids in the stomach and, sometimes, give medications and feeds; not commonly used for kidney transplant patients

Nasal cannula
A plastic tube connected to two prongs placed in the nostrils to give you extra oxygen while you recover from transplant surgery

A doctor on your transplant team who specializes in kidney disease and treatment

An area of medicine that specializes in the kidneys

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Occupational therapist
A health care professional who helps people with day-to-day tasks such as feeding, dressing and washing themselves

An eye doctor

An ear, nose and throat specialist

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Panel reactive antibodies (PRA)
Antibodies in the blood that can interfere with the ability to match you for a transplant

Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
Pain medicine that is given to you through a tube when you press a button

Peripherally-inserted central catheter (PICC)
A tube that can be in place for several months after your transplant to allow the transplant team to take blood and give you medications when you come to hospital

A health care professional with special knowledge about the medications you need before and after your transplant surgery who will develop a medication schedule for you and can discuss any side effects and help obtain information about coverage for your medications

A mineral in your body that works with calcium and vitamin D to keep bones strong and healthy

A health care professional who helps you with your movement after surgery and will give you exercises to do to build up your strength and mobility

Polyoma virus (BKV)
A virus that, in rare cases, can damage the kidney

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD)
A disease that occurs when certain cells called lymphocytes grow much more quickly than they should; over time, and only for a very small number of patients, the cells can lead to a form of cancer called lymphoma

A mineral in your body that helps to keep the muscles and heart working properly

Primary kidney disease
The underlying disease that damaged your kidneys and caused them to fail

Primary non-function
When a transplant organ never starts working and must be removed

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When the body’s immune system starts to attack the transplanted organ; can happen if medications are not taken as instructed

Relaxation with tension
A way to relieve muscle tension and pain by tensing and, after a few seconds, relaxing different groups of muscles in your body

Renal (kidney) scan
A test that involves injecting dye through an IV line and then taking close-up x-rays of the kidney with a large camera

Renal osteodystrophy (ROD) series and bone age test
A set of x-rays of the ankles, wrists and knees to show how kidney disease has affected your bones and show how well the bones are developing

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How much a person values themselves and feels worthwhile

Keeping track of your health and any unusual symptoms after transplant surgery; must be done regularly to give you the best chance of long-term success with your transplant organ

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Infections that are spread from person to person during intimate contact, including skin-to-skin contact and contact through the mouth and genitals

A mineral in your body that helps control blood pressure and the body’s water balance

A narrowing of the blood vessels going in and out of the kidney, which can lead to very high blood pressure

Anything that involves a change, threat or demand on the mind or body; can be external (such as a busy school schedule or changes in relationships with friends) or internal (such as wanting to fit in with your peers or worrying about your health)

Surgical and post-operative complications
Problems with your new organ that directly result from the transplant surgery

Another name for liquid medication

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Three-sentence health summary
A short description of the type of transplant you had, when and why you had it, the medications you are taking, and any side effects, along with any special diet or other routines you follow every day to manage your health

A clot, or blockage, in a blood vessel

Total fluid intake (TFI)
How much fluid you must drink each day to keep your kidney working well

Moving from paediatric care (health care for children and teens) to a team that specializes in caring for adults

Transplant program information co-ordinator
Someone who does all the administration tasks for the transplant office and will usually arrange all your tests and appointments before and after your transplant

Transplant program nurse
Your main contact during your transplant journey; usually the first person to contact if you have any questions

Transplant social worker
Someone who specializes in talking about your feelings about having a transplant and how it will affect different areas of your life, including your lifestyle, education, family, friendships and other relationships, and can help you access resources and prepare for your move to the adult health care system

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Ultrasound image
A picture created from sound waves

Ultrasound scan
A test that uses sound waves to take pictures of the size, shape and texture of your organs

The tube that carries the urine from the kidneys to the bladder

Urine output
The amount of urine you produce

A doctor who specializes in surgery on the bladder and kidney

Voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG)
A test that uses x-rays to show what happens when your bladder is full and what happens when urine leaves your bladder and flows out of your body

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Teens are often very scared when they first learn that they need to have a transplant. For instance, some teens might want to ignore what is wrong with them and carry on as they did before. But ignoring your condition will not make it go away. Taking charge of it will control it!

The Teens Taking Charge: Transplant Program is designed to put your mind at ease and help you:

  • understand what it is like to have a kidney transplant
  • learn how to look after your new organ.

This website is for you whether you have just heard that you need an kidney transplant or you have had a transplant kidney for a number of years.

As you go through this website, you will find lots of useful facts and tools and have the chance to check out what other teens have to say about getting a transplant and the challenges they have faced.​

You can get started by reading through the next module, the introduction to the site​. ​ logo