an Education Specialist for LifeLink of Georgia, the federally designated Organ Procurement Organization for the state of Georgia.
What:National Minority Donor Awareness Day - August 1, 2006
Why: National Minority Donor Awareness Day, celebrated annually on August 1, is a nationwide observance to raise awareness of the desperate need for donation and transplantation in the African American community and to educate the public on the facts and process of how to designate their decision to Donate Life(SM). Approximately 35% of those on the waiting list for kidney transplants are African American. In 2005, 5,212 African Americans received an organ transplant; there were 1,136 African American deceased donors and 889 living donors.
What Makes Him Unique: As a kidney recipient since1994, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back, Bobby Howard has worked for the past 10 years to educate the multicultural community about the importance of organ and tissue donation. His peers recently honored him with the LifeLink Foundation Achievement Award. Bobby was also elected Chair Person of the Multicultural Task Force on Organ and Tissue Donation. He is currently serving as President of the Georgia Transplant Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Bobby is also a member of the 100 Black Men of America, DeKalb County Chapter.
News: As we recognize the 10th anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, there are 92,000 Americans on the waiting list for an organ or tissue donation. Since 1991, there has been a 382% increase in the number of African Americans awaiting organ transplants. On August 1, 2006, minority donors will be asked to make a difference – and to help save a life.
Words of Advice: You can make a difference. One donor can often help save the lives of up to 50 people. My mother got a kidney transplant in 1976 and it extended her life. I received my kidney transplant in 1994 and am grateful every day to the donor family who made the decision to Give the Gift of Life. Each year, the number of African Americans on the waiting list continues to rise. As we recognize National Minority Awareness Day this year, I ask everyone to take the time to learn more, talk to your family about donation and to visit www.donatelife.net or call 1-866-LETS-GIVE (1-866-538-7448).
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