National Minority Awareness

National Minority Donor Awareness Day is observed every August 1 to increase awareness of organ donation among African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander and Native American populations.

In the United States, there are an estimated 110,000 people of all ages, races, and religions in desperate need of life-saving organ transplants that may not come in time — of those an estimated 11,000 live in the state of Texas. To save these lives, the public is encouraged to visit www.donatelifetexas.org and become a registered donor.

At the top of the list of minorities in need of organ transplants are Hispanics. Though only 20 percent of the U.S. population and 30 percent of donors are Hispanics, they make up 45 percent of the Texas transplant waiting list. The high percentage is due to the fact that many of the conditions leading to the need for a transplant, such as diabetes and hypertension, occur with greater frequency among this population.

In observance of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA) is calling attention to the 4,503 Hispanic men, women and children that account for the high percentage of Texans on the transplant waiting list.

"Every year in Texas, there is over 600 donors of all ethnic backgrounds and races who save the lives of thousands of people. Last year alone, more than 184 Hispanic Texans received organ transplants," said Esmeralda "Mela" Perez, TOSA Communications and Community Development Manager. "Making a decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor will help save thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost."

Currently, there are less than one million Texans registered as organ donors on the NEW Donate Life — Texas Registry. The lack of registered donors is due to the fact that many Texans believe they are still registered. In 2005, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), created a NEW online organ, eye and tissue donor registry, thus encouraging many to re-register.

For more information about how you can become a registered organ donor and/or participate in National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Day activities in your community, contact the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance at (866) 687-0277 or visit www.txorgansharing.org.

110,000: The number of men, women and children waiting for a life-saving organ Transplant in the U.S.
11,000: The number of people awaiting an organ transplant in Texas
16: The number of people who die each day waiting for a life-saving organ transplant
12: The number of minutes it takes for a new name to be added to the transplant list
8: The number of lives that can be saved by one organ donor
3: The number of ways you can sign up to be an organ donor (Department of Motor Vehicles, online at www.donatelifetexas.org/www.donevidatexas.org and down-loadable form)
0: The number of lives that are saved when "You" say "NO" to organ donation