Ninety people in Northampton are on the waiting list for a new kidney, according to Kidney Research UK.
The average waiting time for a kidney on the transplant waiting list is 1,000 days, which the charity says is the equivalent of travelling to Mars and back twice.
Kidney Research UK is urging people in the region to join the organ donor register and discuss their wishes with their families. The charity is the largest funder dedicated to kidney research and kidney problems in the UK.
A spokesman said: “Kidney disease is a growing epidemic – the prevalence of patients presenting with kidney failure is increasing consistently at four percent every year. The number of people being treated for kidney failure in the UK has risen every year since 2006.
“Currently, in the UK, there are almost 6,000 people waiting for a kidney – that’s around 90 percent of the total organ waiting list. But, less than 3,000 kidney transplants are carried out each year. As a result, one person dies every day while waiting for a kidney,” he said.
Although a kidney transplant is the best form of treatment for kidney disease, it’s not a cure. On average, a kidney transplant lasts between 10 and 15 years. This means that some people will need several kidney transplants in their lifetime.
Sandra Currie, chief executive of Kidney Research UK, said: “The situation is presenting a real challenge - transplant waiting lists continue to increase because there are not enough organs available. Many patients who could benefit from a kidney transplant have to stay on dialysis, which can, in many cases, restrict quality of life.
“Kidney Research UK is funding the best research across the UK to make kidney transplants work better and last longer. In time we will be able to reduce the amount of people who are waiting for a kidney. Further funding is vital to ensure we can continue this research.”