Every July since 2015, Donate Life America has partnered with the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation to create the annual two week Echo Donate Life. Echo Donate Life is dedicated to creating opportunities, raising awareness, and empowering multicultural communities to register as organ and tissue donors. The goal of this two-week program is to help equip people to work as informative ambassadors in multicultural communities. By informing people about the massive benefits organ donation can have for any community, we hope to spark serious conversations about how organ donation works and help dispel any misinformation about the donation process. If you want to learn more about how to become a LifeCenter ambassador, contact our team today.
In order to understand the importance of organ donation in multicultural communities, it is important to understand the data and statistics or organ donation as a whole. In 2018 there were more than 145 million adults registered as organ donors, that means that over half of the population of the United States have registered as donors. With this huge influx of registered donors, you might think that there would be more than a sufficient amount of organs for those in need. The reality is that most people who register as an organ donor rarely get the chance to donate their organs. This is due to the fact that a person needs to pass away as a result of a non-survivable brain injury, which is only about one percent of the deaths that occur. The waiting list is also constantly adding new people in need, with a patient added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
When it comes to the waiting list, one organ is needed much more than any other: kidneys. Over 83% of the people on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney donor, with the second most needed organ, the liver, coming in at just 11.8%. This disparity of need for kidneys is yet another reason why organ donors are so intensely needed. The good news about kidney donation is that it can be done by both live and deceased donors. Many donation groups help create kidney matching programs where you can essentially donate a kidney to a loved one even if you are not a biological match by “trading” kidneys with someone you match on the waiting list for a kidney that matches your loved one.
In 2018 there were 36,528 transplants performed, which roughly equates to about 80 transplants every day. Those transplants are spread out across all those on the waiting list, with 55.2% of transplants going to Caucasian recipients, 20.6% going to African American recipients, 16.4% going to Hispanic recipients and 5.7% going to Asian recipients. The demographics of organ donors goes along similar lines, with 65.4% of organ donors being Caucasian, 16.1% being African American, 14.1% being Hispanic, and 2.3% being Hispanic.
The organ donation community has always been a beautifully multicultural community of individuals. We as humans are all made up of the same parts, and although we may differ in race, beliefs, and ideals, we all share the same building blocks. If you would like to learn more about the organ donation process or want to register as an organ donor, get in contact with our team here at LifeCenter today.