Minority Groups Make More Than Half of the People Waiting for Organ Transplants: National Minority Donor Awareness Week is Aug. 1-7

Houston, Texas: July 30, 2015 -- LifeGift, a Donate Life Texas organization will celebrate National Minority Donor Awareness Week Aug. 1-7. This nationwide observance honors the generosity of multicultural donors and their families, while also underscoring the critical need for people from diverse communities to register their decision to Donate Life as organ, eye and tissue donors. It is a time to promote healthful living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation. People from all ethnic and cultural groups are encouraged to register as donors at www.donatelifetexas.org.

In Texas, nearly 13,300 people are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and countless others are waiting for a lifesaving tissue transplant. Of those 13,300 Texans, more than 9,300 (or 70 percent) are minority patients.

Across the state, so far in 2015, there have been 132 deceased organ donors; 561 have received a transplant and there have been 91 living donors from minority backgrounds.

“Multicultural communities are disproportionately affected by illnesses, like hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to end-stage renal disease and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant. This makes the need critical for more donations from people in those same communities,” said Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift. “Registering your decision to become an organ, eye and tissue donor is the most effective way to ensure you can save lives for all people and especially those with higher needs for transplantation.” The wait is long, and every day, it is estimated that 22 people die because the transplant they so critically needed does not come in time.

In Texas, people can make their decision to donate electronically through the website www.donatelifetexas.org or when they renew or obtain their driver license at any Department of Public Safety office. Alternatively, they can register to be a donor when they are applying for updated vehicle tags through the Department of Motor Vehicle online portal.

To register as a donor or for more information, please visit www.donatelifetexas.org.

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About LifeGift

LifeGift is a nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization that offers hope to individuals needing transplants in 109 Texas counties in the Houston area, North Texas and West Texas. It is a founding member of Donate Life Texas, the organization that runs the organ, eye and tissue donor registry.

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