Giving Life a Second Chance
Through Organ & Tissue Donation

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How Does the Donor Program Work?

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Gift of Life Donor Program works with hospitals and families throughout the region to help make transplants possible for thousands of patients.

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Multicultural Donation Statistics

Of the more than 116,743 patients on the national transplant list, there are 68,165 multicultural patients waiting for a life-saving transplant. That is 58% of the national waiting list. Gift of Life is committed to providing knowledge and resources to members of our region to make sure every member is informed about correct organ and tissue donation information. Learn more about organ donation, and how the multicultural community is affected by donation.

Statistics Among Minority Communities

Organ Donation among African Americans

  • African Americans represent 53% of people waiting for organ transplants in Gift of Life's service region, which includes Delaware, the eastern halfof Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.
  • African Americans make up 12% of the region's overall population, but represent 44 percent of patients on the kidney transplant waiting list.
  • African Americans represent 14% of deceased donors and 12% of living donors to date.
  • Of the more than 6,250 African Americans waiting for transplants this region, 91% are waiting for kidney transplants.
  • In the 25-44 year-old age group, the rate of African Americans who have kidney failure caused by high blood pressure is 20 times higher than Caucasians.


Organ Donation among Asians

  • Asians represent 7.7% of patients on the national transplant waiting list.
  • There are more than 9,000 Asian candidates on the national transplant waiting list.
  • On the national transplant waiting list for kidneys, over 8,200 candidates are Asian.
  • In 2016, 1,204 Asian transplant candidates received a life saving transplant


Organ Donation among Hispanics

  • Hispanics represent 19.5% of patients on the national transplant waiting list, most waiting for kidneys.
  • Hispanics represent 6% of deceased donors in Gift of Life's region to date.
  • Hispanics represent 7% of people waiting for organ transplants in Gift of Life's service region, which includes Delaware, the eastern half of Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.
  • There are more than 22,700 Hispanics on the organ transplant waiting list.
  • While Hispanics make up approximately 16% of the total United States population, almost 19% of the more than 116,000 persons awaiting organ transplants are Hispanic.
  • Hispanics, like other minorities, are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end stage renal disease and diabetes.
  • Tragically, every 10 minutes another patient is added to the waiting list and 20 people die each day due to lack of organs and tissues. Many thousands more await tissue transplants to restore their health, mobility and sight.
  • Approximately 58% of all those awaiting organ transplants are minorities. In 2016, nearly 13% of organ donors were Hispanic.


Why is it important to discuss organ and tissue donation with family and friends?

  • 95% of Americans support organ donation, but only 54% of Americans are registered.
  • 20 people die each day waiting for life saving transplants.
  • One person can enhance or save more than 75 lives through organ and tissue donation.
  • Between 10,000 and 12,000 people die annually who are considered medically suitable for organ donation, yet only an estimated 6,000 donate.


Common Myths About Donation

How are recipients matched to donors?

Individuals waiting for transplants are listed by the transplant center in their area. Their name then goes into a national computerized waiting list of potential transplants patients in the United States maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). UNOS manages the national list to aid in matching donor organs with patients on the national waiting list and to coordinate efforts with transplant centers.

When donor organs become available, the organ procurement organization (OPO) such as Gift of Life provides UNOS with information about the medical characteristics of the donor and specific organs, including medical compatibility between the donor and potential recipient(s) on such characteristics as blood type, weight, and age; as well as the recipients' urgency of need; and length of time on waiting list. Waiting list patients in the OPO's local region are given the opportunity for the organs first. If no one is a match there, the organs are then offered to the region, and then nationally if necessary.

Will my decision to become an organ and tissue donor affect the quality of my medical care?

No. Organ and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been declared. The doctors working to save your life are entirely separate from the medical team involved in recovering organs and tissues.

Does my religion approve of donation?

All of the major religions in this country approve of organ and tissue donation and consider it a gift - an act of charity. If you have questions, contact your religious advisor.

Does it cost anything to donate organ and tissues?

No. Donation costs nothing to the donor's family or estate.

Is there an age limit for donating organs?

No set age limit exists for organ donation. At the time of death, the potential donor's organs are evaluated to determine their suitability for donation. Therefore, people of any age wishing to become organ and tissue donors should indicate their decision to be an organ and tissue donor on their driver's license and inform their family that they wish to donate.

Find Related Info
Donor Registry, Minority Outreach, Transplant Waiting List, Kidney Transplant, Organ Donors

National Donate Life Month

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April is National Donate Life Month! Help us raise awareness for organ and tissue donation and share incredible stories from people in our community!

Click here to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor today!


Share Your Story

Inspire. Advocate. Share your story...

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Gift of Life works tirelessly to rewrite the stories for the more than 5,600 people in our region waiting for their second chance at life. The gift of organ and tissue donation truly can change someone's life and rewrite their story. How has the Gift of Life rewritten your story? Share with us.


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It’s easy to add the donor designation to your driver's license or state I.D. card. In Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Sign up today!

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