Donation and transplantation among African-Americans
Across the country, African-Americans make up 30 percent of those waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant; the majority of those are waiting for a kidney. In the 25- to 44-year-old age group, the rate of African-Americans who have kidney failure caused by high blood pressure is 20 times higher than Caucasians.
In Texas, African-Americans make up nearly 23 percent of those waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant – but only make up about 12 percent of organ donors.*
* 2013 numbers; not including those waiting for tissue transplants.
Donation will mutilate my body.
Donated organs and tissues are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to open heart surgery. Donation doesn’t prevent an open casket funeral or viewing.
Imagine performing a kidney transplant without the aid of donor blood. That’s just what Rodney Parrish’s surgeons did in 1993. Rodney’s beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness prohibit him from accepting blood products, so his surgeons used the erythropoietin hormone to increase Rodney’s blood hematocrits, giving him an extra cushion in case he began to bleed.
It worked. Rodney’s new kidney has since enabled him to shoot more hoops, travel all over the world for his work, and spend more time with his beloved wife, children and grandchildren.