Donate Life ECHO, a nationwide observance occurring July 10 – July 23, 2016, is poised to empower the voice of all communities in support of the critical need for donation and transplantation in multicultural communities. The observance encourages individuals to register their decisions to be organ, eye and tissue donors while providing educational information about donation. Donate Life ECHO is a collaborative effort uniting Donate Life America (DLA) and the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT).
“The ECHO concept is that one voice with a donation message or story can be carried, amplified and echoed throughout a community,” said G. David Fleming, DLA President and CEO. “Donate Life ECHO highlights the greater good that comes from sharing the importance of registering as a donor and telling your family and friends about your decision. Together, we can help save lives.”
Multicultural communities play a vital role in donation and transplantation. Indeed, statistics gathered by the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) confirm that the percentage of multicultural donors who save and heal lives account for 34% of all deceased organ donors. Yet, the need for enhanced advocacy and engagement persists. This is especially compounded by the fact that ethnically diverse communities are disproportionately in need of lifesaving organ transplants—especially kidneys.
Currently, nearly 58% of the US transplant waiting list is comprised of ethnically diverse patients. Research shared by UNOS further confirms that, “successful transplantation is often enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group.” As such, increasing educational efforts and outreach through innovative campaigns is a critical step toward increasing the number of registered donors in multicultural communities. Accordingly, Donate Life ECHO offers a simple yet powerful conduit for sparking dialogue and action.
“We are excited about the opportunity to invite all North Carolinians to join us in the Donate Life ECHO national observance. Please raise your voice so that we can create an echo that reverberates far and wide in support of organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Dawn Hall, Director of Communications and Marketing at HonorBridge. “It only takes a moment to register at Register as a Donor and please be sure to then encourage all of your family and friends to do so as well.”
“This strategic initiative is about empowering individuals to echo the message of donation in diverse communities, and in so doing, increase donor registrations,” said Remonia Chapman, president of AMAT. “Donate Life ECHO also creates an opportunity for multicultural professionals, working in healthcare, to join together to promote lifesaving transplantation. Indeed, we hope to inspire future generations of clinicians, nurses, social workers, community educators and healthcare advocates to consider becoming part of this wonderful calling to save and heal lives through the gift of organ and tissue donation.”
Donate Life ECHO resources are available in English and Spanish. In Spanish, Done Vida ECO stands for Esperanza, Comunidad y Oportunidad: “hope,” “community,” and “opportunity.” Together, AMAT and DLA will offer a Donate Life ECHO digital toolkit that includes social media banners, graphics, talking points, statistics and other resources that can be customized for specific audiences. To access these tools, please visit: www.DonateLife.net/echo.