If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need One Voice, One Vision to Save and Heal Lives. The global COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the health disparities that multicultural communities face in the U.S. and reminded us all that we share a common humanity.
“One Voice, One Vision…to Save and Heal Lives” is the theme of National Minority Donor Awareness Month, which is recognized in August with the goal of highlighting the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities. A cooperative effort between the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, Donate Life America, the National Kidney Foundation and the Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program, NMDAM will also provide donation education, encourage donor registration, and promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation.
The need is great. Minorities tend to be at higher risk for conditions like hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to organ failure and the need for an organ transplant. At the same time, they are less likely to sign up on the Organ Donor Registry due to long-held beliefs or common misconceptions about the process.
Nationally, there are more than 100,000 patients waiting for an organ transplant. Of those, nearly 60 percent are minorities. In Michigan, more than 1,000 of the 2,668 patients waiting for a transplant are African American, Arab American or Latinx.
In August, Gift of Life Michigan will provide information to break down common misconceptions about organ donation, speak to the support of major religions and share stories of donors, recipients and patients waiting for new organs, alike.
And, of course, we will encourage those who are not yet on the Donor Registry to sign up.
You can also find more resources here.