Getting the most from your support system after a transplant

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It may be difficult for you to talk to others about your transplant. However, there are many people who want to give you help and support when you need it.


Different people can help you in different ways. You may find it easy to talk to your parents about the physical part of your transplant. On the other hand, you might find it easier to talk to your friends about how it feels to have a chronic (long-term) illness.

It is unlikely that one person can meet all your needs for support, so it is important for you to develop a network of people or support system whom you can count on when you need them.

Remember that your healthcare team also has supports to help you, such as a psychologist or adolescent medicine specialist.

Talking to your parents about your transplant

Your family can offer lots of support as you deal with your transplant.

  • If you need help remembering your medications or fluids, ask your parents to help you.
  • If you need help remembering your blood work appointments, make sure the dates are in your parents’ calendar as well.
  • It can be difficult to monitor your own blood pressure, so ask your parents to help you.

As you get more used to taking fluids and following your medication schedule, try to build reminders in your day by setting alarms on your cell phone or watch.

Letting your parents know when you need space

Your family will want you to stay healthy, but sometimes you might feel that they are too protective of you, especially when you are getting to grips with your post-transplant routine.

When you are more independent, ask your parents to give you some space. Talk to them about it. Your need for independence is an important part of growing up, whether or not you have had a transplant.

Teens joining hands

Talking to friends about your transplant

Some teens are happy to share with their friends that they have had a transplant and talk about that experience. Telling friends can sometimes make you feel less isolated and make your friendships stronger. Friends are also good at reminding you when it is time to take your medications. And when others at school know about your health condition, you can get support to help you with assignments and exams.

However, other teens prefer not to tell anyone at school about their transplant. They may fear that others will tease them or treat them differently or they may feel embarrassed and not want anyone to know what they’re going through.

Think about what is right for you. If you find it hard to decide if you want others to know about your transplant, make a list of the good and bad things about sharing the information to help you decide.

What are some good and bad things about telling your friends? Use the example below to start your own list in a notebook or on your phone or computer.

Good thingsBad things
I can get support.I might be asked lots of awkward questions.

Last updated: November 30th 2017