Minority Donor Awareness Day

July 31, 2009

AUGUST 1 is National Minority Donor Awareness Day! This observance is designed to increase awareness for the need of organ and tissue donors, especially among minority groups. Did you know that in 2008, only 14% of all donors were African-American, and just over 13% were Hispanic? Less than 3% of all donors in 2008 were Asian.

According to UNOS, some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver are found more frequently in racial and ethnic minority populations. For example, African-Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease than Caucasians. Native Americans are four times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from diabetes.

Successful transplantation often is enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group. Therefore, a shortage of organs donated by minorities can contribute to death and longer waiting periods for minorities waiting for transplants.

To become an organ donor today, visit www.transplants.org and click on the Transplant Challenge logo.