In honor of Black History Month, Unyts is highlighting the need for organ, tissue, and eye donation in the African American community. Let’s get the word out and encourage African Americans in our Western New York community and beyond to register to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor during the month of February. 

In Western New York, African Americans account for about 40% of the population, but over 50% of the people in Western New York waiting for an organ transplant are African American. Together we can decrease the donation gap.

Check out the stats for yourself…

  • African Americans make up 29% of the U.S. organ transplant waiting list (even though 13% of the population is African American in the U.S.)
  • 32% of African Americans waiting on the organ transplant list are waiting for a new kidney
  • Only 1,728 African Americans were organ donors in 2018
  • To date, 29,794 African Americans have helped save the lives of 239,000 people through organ transplants. Let’s raise that number!

While Caucasian donors can donate to African Americans recipients, it is beneficial to receive organs from a person of your own ethnic and racial background. Why? Because blood types O+ and A+ are the most common in African Americans, which is necessary in organ transplantation and will lessen the chance of rejection.

We Honor People Making a Difference.

There are many people who are playing critical roles in America’s transplant system throughout our diverse communities. Two of those people include former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, Bobby Howard and heart recipient and volunteer, Courtney Waring. After requiring a kidney transplant himself, Bobby has taken a leadership role in the transplant education field as the Director of Multicultural Donation Education Program at LifeLink of Georgia. Courtney survived cancer, received a heart transplant and is now dedicated to raising awareness about organ donation in the African American community.

Do you know someone in the African American community making a difference in the transplant field? Please let us know.