Organization addresses high number of African Americans waiting for an organ in N.C.

Black History Month

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Carolina Donor Services is encouraging our state’s African Americans to become organ donors. Blacks make up many of the people waiting for new organs.

Leaders with the organization say it’s all about correcting myths and sharing how donors can make a life or death difference.

In North Carolina, 49% of people on the state’s organ waitlist are African Americans. Most of them are awaiting new kidneys due to medical issues.

Those health problems are tied to common illnesses among African Americans, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. These conditions can often time lead to kidney failure. People with Carolina Donor Services say getting more African Americans as donors will save lives.

“Although donation and transplantation can take place between any individuals from a different racial or ethnic group. Transplants have a higher likelihood of success when organs are matched members of the same racial or ethnic backgrounds,” said Latoya Joyner, Carolina Donor Services.

Advocates say organs from one donor can save up to 8 lives. Another 75 people can be helped through tissue donation and 2 people can be given sight again.

“Of the more than 1500 African Americans who are waiting for a life-saving transplant in North Carolina, 95% are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant. When you are thinking of that number, you’re thinking, what can be done to bring the number down?” said Joyner.

To learn how to register click HERE.

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