National Minority Donor Awareness Month is crucial to saving more lives

Terra DeFoe, donor mother, stands in front of a church stained glass window

Mohamed El-Souri received a heart transplant as a teenager

August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, designated to heighten awareness about organ and tissue donation in multicultural communities.

Originally observed in a single week in 1996, this awareness month is a collaborative effort by the National Multicultural Action Group to save and improve lives by focusing on the African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American communities.

These communities are at higher risk for conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity that, left untreated, often lead to organ failure. Yet these populations are less likely to sign up as organ and tissue donors due to many factors, including mistrust of the healthcare system.

National Minority Donor Awareness Month is another opportunity for organ procurement organizations, including Gift of Life Michigan, to correct misconceptions, educate the public about organ and tissue donation and urge everyone to Check Your Heart to determine if they’re signed up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, and do so if they are not.

Aimee Cruz has received three liver transplants, the first when she was only 16 years old.About 104,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving transplant in the U.S. Roughly 60% of them are either Black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander or another minority class. About 65% of patients waiting for a kidney transplant in the U.S. are minorities, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

In Michigan, about 2,400 patients were waiting for transplants as of August 1, 2023. Of those, 718 are African American, 95 are Hispanic, and 66 were of Middle Eastern descent.

It’s a reminder that one person can be a source of life or life-improved for so many others.

Click on the infographics below to see them larger.

Infographic for National Minority Donor Awareness MonthInfographic for National Minority Donor Awareness Month

Read More Posts
Guadalupe Alejos, who received a kidney transplant 50 years ago, standing in front of the Kidney Transplant Center sign

Transplant Throwback: Guadalupe Alejos 

Name: Guadalupe Alejos Age: 77 Home: Grand Rapids Transplant: Kidney at Trinity Health Kidney Transplant Center…

Read More
Heart transplant recipient Rachel Kuntzsch

Lansing heart recipient saves lives by telling her story of hope

Life was “exceedingly rich” for Rachel Kuntzsch when it nearly slipped into darkness forever. She…

Read More
Someone holding a pen signing their state income tax form

New law lets residents sign up through tax forms

Michigan residents who haven’t yet added their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry will…

Read More
Newborn baby wrapped in orange towel with headband

Baby Jade Townsend saves the life of another infant

Case results in protocol change with worldwide implications One of Gift of Life Michigan’s smallest…

Read More
Check Your Heart graphic featuring Aimee Cruz saying "I'm here today because someone checked their heart."

Using digital marketing to save lives

Growing awareness one impression at a time Gift of Life Michigan is working to educate…

Read More
Artelia Griggs, donor mother, receiving an award from Christine Peiter, Gift of Life employee and tissue graft recipient

Gift of Life’s gala generates thousands for critical programs

Popular signature event will grow in 2024 The annual Champions Gala honoring people and organizations…

Read More
Scroll to Top