RICHMOND, Va., July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In observance of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, Donate Life America calls attention to the 49,000 minority individuals that account for 51 percent of the United States transplant waiting list. There are nearly 100,000 people of all ages, races, and religions in desperate need of life-saving organ transplants that may not come in time. Hundreds of thousands more are in need of tissue transplants to restore their health, mobility, and sight. To save these lives, the public is encouraged to visit http://www.donatelife.net and determine the steps necessary to become registered donors in their state. At the top of the list of minorities in need of organ transplants are African Americans followed by Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and people of Multiracial decent. African Americans alone account for 27 percent of people on the national waiting list and 35 percent of those waiting for kidneys. Though only 20 percent of the U.S. population and 23 percent of donors are minorities, they make up 51 percent of the national transplant waiting list. The high percentage is due to the fact that many of the conditions leading to the need for a transplant, such as diabetes and hypertension, occur with greater frequency among these populations. National Minority Donor Awareness Day is observed every August 1 to increase awareness of organ donation among African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander and Native American populations. The event also recognizes minority donors and their families. This spring Donate Life America released a national campaign including television, radio, and print advertisements featuring the real-life stories of African American and Hispanic transplant recipients. The campaign is aimed at inspiring minority communities and the general market to donate life. "Every year there are over 28,000 donors of all ethnic backgrounds and races who save the lives of thousands of people and provide tissue for over a million people. Last year alone, more than 10,000 minorities received organ transplants," says David Fleming, Executive Director, Donate Life America. "Making a decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor will help save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost." To find out how to become a donor in your state visit http://www.donatelife.net or its Spanish companion website http://www.donevida.org. About Donate Life America Founded in 1992, Donate Life America's mission is to serve as a national voice and inspire all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
SOURCE Donate Life America