Officials are calling on more African American, Hispanic American and Asian Americans in West Central Illinois to step up and become organ donors.
Secretary of State Jesse White says people can receive an organ from anyone but their recovery process goes smoother if it comes from someone with the same ethnic background. White says this is why the need is so high.
“Last year there were more than 2,200 African Americans on the waiting list and only 86 became donors,” says White.
“In the Hispanic community, there were 900 on the waiting list and 34 became donors and in the Asian American community there were 250 and only six became donors.”
5.5 million people in Illinois have signed up as organ donors but there are still about 5,000 people on the waiting list. White adds that 56 percent of the people who are waiting for organs come from minority ethnic groups.
“However 34 percent actually participate in the program,” says White.
“Hypertension, kidney disease and diabetes are really the cause of why so many individuals get on the list.”
White says one person can provide life or improve the quality of life for up to 25 people if they donate their organs.
To sign up go online to LifeGoesOn.com.