People of all ages, races and ethnic backgrounds can donate their organs and tissues. Although organs are not matched according to race or ethnicity, recipients and donors of the same ethnicity are more likely to match. Even more importantly, studies show that transplants may be more successful when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic and racial group.
Thanks to her kidney donor, Sylvia danced at her daughter’s wedding and never misses any of her granddaughter’s birthdays.
Christian “CJ” Chanco, Donor Hero CJ was only 23 when he died and became a hero by saving 5 lives donating 6 organs.
Deacon Rommel educates his parishioners about Catholic doctrine that supports organ donation as “the highest form of charity and compassion upon our death.”
Thanks to Chris’ cousin Donnovan’s kidney donation, Chris only spent 6 months on dialysis. Chris thinks of his cousin’s kidney as ‘the Ferrari’ of kidneys – sporty and healthy!
Philippine American Nurses Association, Capital City Chapter (PNAA-C3) has championed organ and tissue donation in the Asian/Pacific Islander community as valued partners.
Thanks to a 19-year-old donor, Gabby Preap was able to receive a heart transplant after two and half years of waiting.
CSO Sakamoto was an unsung hero in life as a community service officer and a donor hero upon his death, saving 3 lives (both kidneys, liver, corneas, skin, bone & cardiovascular tissue)
“The sacrifice of donating an organ so another person can live is something we need to celebrate and honor.” —Richard V. Perez, MD, Chief of Transplant Surgery, UC Davis Health
One altruistic donor chose to participate in the kidney exchange program, which resulted in not one transplant candidate receiving a new organ, but four.
Asian Americans, the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, make up 6% of the nation’s population and 16% of California’s. Yet, on the national transplant waiting list, Asian Americans account for 9% of waiting patients and 20% of those waiting in California.
Despite the abundance of Asian Americans working in healthcare in the U.S., they have the lowest organ donation registration rate. Sadly, mistrust and cultural taboos create barriers for Asian Americans from becoming donors.
Noah Hernandez, Liver Transplant Recipient, had been born healthy, but at four months was diagnosed with biliary atresia. Thanks to a liver donor six months later, Noah was able to recover and is now in kindergarten.
Officer Joseph “Joe” Chairez was only a police officer for 6 months, when he suffered from a brain hemorrhage and died. Joe saved 4 lives as an organ donor, and his parents keep his legacy alive by encouraging others to become organ and tissue donors.
Thanks to a heart and kidney from a deceased donor, Elizabeth Arteaga-Novoa lives life to the fullest as a Latino community advocate and mother to a foster child with her husband.
Jess was adamantly against organ donation until he had a change of heart and honored his son, Joseph’s choice to become an organ donor and saved 4 lives.
Hispanic or Latino people make up nearly 19% of the nation’s population, yet, on the national transplant waiting list, Latinos account for over 20% of the waiting patients. In California, nearly half (47.7%) of those waiting are Hispanic.
Latinos tend to suffer from diabetes, heart disease and obesity at disproportionately high rates, putting them at risk for organ failure. Several factors including language barriers, mistrust, lack of awareness, concern for immigration status, and limited access to care create barriers for Latinos becoming organ donors.
Since receiving his heart transplant at age 64, Len leads an active lifestyle and has developed a bond with his donor’s family.
Sonja Archie, died waiting for a heart and kidney transplant. Sonja was part of the Sierra Donor Services Ambassador program, encouraging her Black community to become organ and tissue donors and died in 2009.
After surviving a “widow maker” heart attack, Earl had to wait for a lifesaving transplant. Thanks to his heart donor, he is able to truly live life and travel the world.
Thanks to Patrice’s liver donor, she has been working at the California State Capitol as a Senior Assistant for Assembly member Jacqui Irwin for several years.
Black/African Americans make up nearly 17% of the nation’s population and 6% of California’s. Yet Black patients account for over 28% waiting on the national transplant waiting list and nearly 10% in California.
Some types of organ failure occur more often in communities of color. Black and African Americans are three times more likely to have kidney failure compared to White Americans. In 2020, there were more than 28,000 African Americans on the kidney transplant waiting list, but only one in five of those patients were matched and received a transplant. Thousands of African Americans are currently on the national transplant waiting list. More than 2,000 of those patients are in California alone.
Although the need is prevalent, medical mistrust and societal distrust of organ donation have made cultural barriers for African Americans from becoming donors.
Thanks to Debbie’s bone donor, you can find her at Northern California powwows as a handmade jewelry business owner.
Over 4 million people in the U.S. identify as American Indian or Alaska Native and 750,000 people in California. Nearly 900 are on the national transplant waiting list and over 100 are in California.
We recognize that the Native American people have long experienced lower health status when compared with other Americans. These disparities contribute to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and chronic liver disease due to inadequate education, disproportionate poverty, discrimination in the distribution of health services, and cultural differences.
Although the need is prevalent within Native American communities, medical mistrust and societal distrust of organ donation have built barriers for more Native Americans from becoming donors.
When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, you leave a lasting legacy and bring hope to those waiting.
To access the National Registry, click here.