The month of August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, with this week focused on getting community members to register to become an organ donor. 23ABC’s Bayne Froney spoke with JJ's Legacy about the importance of multicultural donors.
JJ’s Legacy is one of many organ donation non-profits whose main priority is to spread awareness about organ donation amongst all communities and support those who are currently on the transplant list.
“The more people that register, the more lives are going to be saved,” said Lori Malkin, founder of JJ’s Legacy.
There are almost 110,000 people who are waiting for a transplant. Of those, nearly half are racial or ethnic minorities.
"African-Americans are four times more likely than whites to have kidney failure and Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure,” explained E’Tiffany Jones, public education and production manager for One Legacy Foundation.
The main goal of National Minority Donor Awareness Month is to honor people and their families who have donated, as well as spread awareness about organ donations and how someone could help save a life.
“Advocacy groups and months like this spread awareness to these individuals who may not know all of the information that surrounds organ transplants,” said Jones.
Jones’ father was a recipient of an organ just three years ago.
“We are able to have a second chance at life with my father. We are able to experience birthdays. We are able to call and pick up the phone and just say ‘I love you.’ We are able to still hear his voice. We are able to still have his heartbeat.”
JJ’s Legacy and One Legacy are both dedicated to giving information to those who want to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donations, and bringing communities together, no matter their ethnic background.
“Every organ is pink. It doesn’t matter of race color or skin, so no matter what your ethnicity is, every organ is pink,” added Malkin.
Both organizations encourage you to talk to your family and friends about organ, eye, and tissue donations as well as get informed. For more information, you can go to JJ's Legacy or One Legacy Foundation online. You can also learn more about donation on the Donate Life California website.
You can also read how the cancellation of the 2021 Rose Parade this upcoming January is having an impact on JJ’s Legacy..