August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month

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Jesse White encouraging organ/tissue donation virtually

information provided by the Office of the Secretary of State

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (August 7, 2020) – Secretary of State Jesse White is hosting a virtual National Minority Donor Awareness Month “Wave Away the Waiting” to promote organ/tissue donation for multicultural communities at www.LifeGoesOn.com.

“We are working together to end the wait for those in need of organ donation,” said White. “Unfortunately, minorities are in great need of organ transplants, yet they donate at a lower rate. I encourage everyone to register to become an organ/tissue donor to help give the gift of life to someone in need.”

Nationally, people of color comprise 59 percent of the waiting list for organ transplants; however, this year they accounted for only 38 percent of those who donated organs, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network in Illinois:

  • There are 1,477 African Americans on the waiting list, but in 2019 only 172 African Americans became donors.
  • There are 826 Hispanic Americans on the waiting list, but last year only 129 Hispanic Americans became donors.
  • There are 240 Asian Americans on the waiting list, but only 24 Asian Americans became organ donors in 2019.

In Illinois, almost 7 million people are registered as organ/tissue donors, yet there are approximately 4,000 people waiting for transplants. People of color are disproportionately affected by illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant, increasing the number of patients on the organ transplant waiting list, according to United Network for Organ Sharing.

Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Registry online at www.LifeGoesOn.com, by calling 1-800-210-2106 or by visiting their local Driver Services facility.