National Hispanic Heritage Month

Donna and Donor Family editfdsaf

Recipient Donna Mullin meets her donor Dulces Family

Today marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Hispanic Heritage Month, observed annually September 15th-October 15th, commemorates the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrates the group’s heritage and culture. From Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts to Albert Bae’z contributions to X-ray technology, the influence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States is vast. The contributions of the Hispanic and Latino community have helped create a brighter future for many in our country and worldwide – a future that some may not be able to experience without a lifesaving organ or tissue transplant.

Almost 23,000 of those on the national transplant waiting list are Hispanic or Latino. Over 86 percent of these candidates are waiting for a kidney, as many health conditions affecting the kidney are highly susceptible in the Hispanic community. In order to combat the need for donors, it is imperative that more of the population register to be organ donors. Though ethnicity is not a factor in finding a match for organ donors and recipients, the chances of a successful transplant increase significantly when donor and recipient share the same ethnic background. Similarly, people with the same ethnicity often times have the same blood type, a large contributor in finding a match for donation. Because of these factors, it is necessary to encourage registration in all communities, and continue to provide the facts of donation, and correct the myths surrounding organ and tissue donation.

Every member of the Hispanic and Latino community can make a difference for someone in their community. This month, we encourage you to learn more about the gift of life, and talk to your loved ones about organ, eye, and tissue donation.

The facts:

  • Currently, there are 23,076 Hispanics on the organ transplant waiting list.
  • Hispanics, like other minorities, are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer end state renal disease and diabetes, two conditions that often necessitate a kidney transplant
  • Every 10 minutes another patient is added to the national waiting list, and every day an average of 22 people die waiting for a transplant
  • In 2014, 13.4 percent of organ donors were Hispanic or Latino.
  • Approximately 58 percent of those waiting for lifesaving organ transplants are minorities.

 

Click here to learn more about donation myths and the facts that bust them.


A Lasting Legacy: BJ Miller’s storyBJ Cropped Web

BJ Miller was an all-American boy: scholar, athlete, sports lover, football fan, devoted son. With his dazzling smile and caring heart, he was a big star in the small town of Sunnyside, Washington. He was well-known, and well-loved.

On October 12, 2007, three days after his 19th birthday, BJ was in an auto accident. When his parents, Daria and John, were faced with the despair that their son would not survive, they knew right away that they wanted to donate his organs.
Prior to BJ’s accident, they had spoken with him about donation and knew it was his wish. Already a beloved young man, that day he became a hero—by donating his organs and corneas to six waiting recipients.

Start the conversation about donation in your family today.

 

Watch BJ’s story here: