Donor campaign targets minorities
CHAMPAIGN — Organ and marrow donor programs will be at the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District on Monday afternoon accepting sign-ups for their registries, and they're hoping to raise awareness about the need for minority donors.
Donors of all races and ethnicity are needed, but 57 percent of those waiting for an organ donation are minorities, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The donor and recipient don't have to be matched by race, but the factors used in making a match, such as organ and tissue type, are more likely to line up when a donor and recipient of the same ethnic background, the organizations say.
Plus, certain diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver take a heavier toll on racial and ethnic minority populations, so increasing donors among those groups is especially important to help increase the chances for more life-saving transplants for minorities, according to Life Goes On-Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Program.
That organization, along with Be the Match registry, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, will be at the health district at 201 W. Kenyon Road from 1-4 p.m. Monday to sign up donors.
Minorities are also less likely to find a bone marrow donor match than Caucasians, according to Be the Match.
Community Blood Services of Illinois will also have its bloodmobile at the health district building Monday afternoon for anyone wishing to donate blood.