Minorities Account for 51% of the U.S. Transplant Waiting List

Jul 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Donate Life America

    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
     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
     "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
     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