National Minority Donor Awareness Day Encourages Organ Donation
Wednesday marks National Minority Donor Awareness Day, which seeks to encourage minorities to become organ and tissue donors, Tampa Bay's 10 News reports. Minorities make up more than half of those on the national transplant waiting list (Tampa Bay's 10 News, 8/1).
Blacks have the greatest need for organ transplants -- they make up 27% of those on the national waiting list and 35% of those who need kidney transplants, according to Donate Life America. To encourage more minorities to donate, Donate Life America this spring launched a national media campaign that featured the stories of Hispanic and black transplant recipients (Donate Life America release, 7/30).
In South Texas, Hispanics make up a large portion of the 2,700 people waiting for organ transplants, the McAllen Monitor reports. In 2007, about 100 Hispanics donated organs. Sonia Garcia, community relations coordinator for the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, said minorities -- Hispanics in particular -- are more reluctant than whites to discuss organ donation. She said her organization visits community health fairs and events to increase awareness, noting, "We're celebrating the day and also throughout the month." She added, "This day was designated to bring to light the need for organ donations across the board, but especially in the minority community" (McEver, McAllen Monitor, 7/31).