How Gift of Life is working with minoritiesGift of Life has a special partnership with a national organization focusing exclusively on educating minority communities about organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program, or MOTTEP, exists in 15 cities, including Detroit, where it has been using a community-based approach to increase the number of minority organ and tissue donors in Michigan since 1995.
MOTTEP serves the African American, American Indian, Hispanic/Latino and Asian/Pacific Islander populations statewide.
Minorities do donate, but not enough to meet the urgent need. Some may be reluctant to sign the Michigan Organ Donor Registry because of:
- Religious beliefs
- Mistrust of the medical community
- Lack of awareness
- Fear of premature death
Key facts about minorities and donation and transplantation:
- Nearly half of all patients waiting for transplants are of an ethnic minority.
- Nearly half of those needing kidney transplants in Michigan are African American.
- 25 percent of the available donor pool are minorities.
Michigan minorities waiting for organs
In 2009, the generosity of Michigan organ donors resulted in 864 transplants and saved hundreds of lives. Transplants so far in 2010 total 614. As of Nov. 1, just over 3,000 Michigan residents are waiting for organs. Nearly 1,300 of those are African American, Middle Eastern or Hispanic.
African American Middle Eastern Hispanic
Kidney 1,039 40 85
Liver 44 2 6
Heart 21 1 0
Lung 9 1 0
Kidney/pancreas 16 0 2
Kidney/liver 12 0 0
Pancreas 2 0 0
Kidney/heart 3 0 0
Heart/liver 0 0 1
Kidney/lung 1 0 0
Total 1,149 44 94
Every year, MOTTEP raises awareness and money for organ and tissue donation education by sponsoring a walk on historic Belle Isle. LIFE Walk is the largest organ and tissue awareness event in Michigan. The 2009 walk raised more than $30,000 and more than 1,200 runners and walkers participated in the 2011 race.
LIFEWalk 2012 will be held on July 21.