HonorBridge celebrates August 1-7 as National Minority Donor Awareness Week. This nationwide observance honors the generosity of multicultural donors and their families, while also underscoring the critical need for people from diverse communities to register their decision to Donate Life as organ, eye and tissue donors. It is a time to promote healthful living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation. People from all ethnic and cultural groups are encouraged to register as donors at DonateLifeNC.org.
Although minorities make up 36 percent of the total U.S. population, they make up approximately 57 percent of those on the U.S. transplant waiting list. These 69,000 mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are desperately waiting for lifesaving transplants.
When Jaydon was just a few weeks old, his family was informed that he was very sick, and without a liver transplant, he would die. Throughout the next year, his health continued to deteriorate. After being admitted to the ICU in March of 2013, they found a match for Jaydon. With a new liver, his life was saved, thanks to his donor.
“Since Jaydon’s transplant, he has changed so much. Before, he was so sick he couldn’t move from one spot and now I can’t even keep up with him,” says Jaydon’s mother.
Not everyone waiting for the gift of life is as lucky as Jaydon. Minorities are disproportionately affected by illnesses, like hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to end-stage renal disease and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. This makes the need for more donors from ethnic minority groups critical. In 2013, 11,813 minority patients received organ transplants; while there were 2,887 minority deceased donors and 1,803 minority living donors. The wait is long and, sadly, 18 people die everyday because the transplant they so critically needed does not come in time. The need for more donors is clear. Registering your decision to become an organ, eye and tissue donor is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives through donation.
For more information about how to register as a donor or how to get involved please call 1-800-200-2672.