Efforts in Texas to Reach Minority Donors Grow as Transplant Waiting List Lengthens
More than 120,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting an organ transplant, and of those, 13,000 live in Texas.
One Texas-based nonprofit is trying to educate people, particularly minorities, about the critical shortage of organ donors.
Some ethnic groups have higher incidences of diabetes and hypertension, which damage the kidneys and heart, and more than half of the people in the U.S. awaiting a transplant are minorities.
"That number is significant because transplants are usually more successful if the donor and the same genetic similarities, which we find in certain ethnic groups," says Michelle Segovia with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance.
She says each day, 18 people die because of the shortage of organs for transplant. Central Texas has two transplant centers – one specializes in kidneys and the other in hearts. For a lung, pancreas or liver transplant, patients may need to travel to San Antonio, Dallas or Houston.