It’s important that people of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds register as organ, eye and tissue donors. However, there is a far greater need for more minority donors. Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans and other minority communities account for more than half of the more than 120,000 people on the national waiting list. This is partially due to the fact that some diseases that may lead to organ failure, such as diabetes and high blood pressure are more prevalent in minority populations.
For example, African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end-stage renal disease, often as the result of high blood pressure and other conditions. Nationally, 30% of the people waiting for a transplant are African Americans, 19% are Hispanic and 8% are Asian. Here in our community, 41% of the more than 2,500 people waiting for a transplant belong to minority groups.
Although organ transplant candidates are not matched based on race/ethnicity and people of different races can match one another, organ transplants matches made within ethnic groups can have higher level of compatibility than those made outside ethnic groups. By increasing the number of registered minority donors, transplant candidates will have a better chance to receive a second chance at life through transplantation. For more information and to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor please visit www.DonateLifeColorado.org or www.DonateLifeWyoming.org.