Omaha Public Radio News
2:37 pm
Wed February 24, 2010

Nebraska organ donation program says more African-American donors are needed

Omaha, NE – Nebraska Organ Recovery says Black History Month is about more than celebrating the achievements of African-American leaders.

Stephanie Lochmiller, spokeswoman for Nebraska Organ Recovery, says it's also a good time to spread the word about the need for African-American organ donors. Right now African-Americans comprise almost 30% of the transplant waiting list nationally. But only 12% of organ donors are of African-American descent.

African-Americans are disproportionately affected by a whole host of diseases including hypertension, diabetes and kidney failure. That's why Lochmiller says because the need for new minority organ donors is huge, everyone should consider organ donation.

Often organ donation is not considered until the family is in the hospital with a loved one. Lochmiller advises individuals to discuss it now, before a crisis occurs. Each organ donor has the potential to save eight lives.

For more information on the process of organ donation or to register as an organ donor, you can log on to www.nedonation.org.