August 1 marks the fifteenth anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, a special day set aside each year to call public attention to the critical need for people of African-American, Hispanic and other minority heritages to register as organ and tissue donors and share their decisions with their loved ones.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), of the 100,000 people on the transplant waiting list, about half, or 51 percent, are minorities. African Americans make up the biggest portion of minorities on the waiting list at 27 percent, followed by Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. Most often people on the waiting list are awaiting kidney transplants. Although minorities make up 20 percent of the United States population and 23 percent of donors, there are often opportunities to donate while living and improve another person’s life.
To find out more about organ donation, please visit the Organ Donation page on our website. The HHS Office of Minority Health offers a wealth of information and resources on minority organ donation, transplants and healthy living on its website.