More than 100,000 people nationwide are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and more than half of those patients are people of color. That’s because some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver that are best treated through transplantation are found more frequently among minority groups.
For example, minority groups are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease. Although it’s possible for a candidate to match a donor from another racial or ethnic background, transplant success rates may increase when organs are matched between people of the same ethnic background.
A lack of organs donated by multicultural communities can contribute to longer waiting periods for transplantation.
“Jacob gave me a second chance at life. That was the most beautiful moment in my life,” Jamie said. “I do all I can to help educate people on donation and transplantation because, like myself, I didn’t know anything about it.”