The week of August 1st is National Minority Donor Awareness Week. This is celebrated each year to educate individuals in the U.S. about the desperate need for donation and transplantation within the multicultural community. Ethnic minorities represent 56% of those individuals on the organ transplant waiting list, while only making up 32% of registered donors. The United Network for Organ Sharing reports that "successful transplantation often is enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial group." Generally, people are more genetically similar to people of their own ethnicity or race and therefore less likely to reject the organ or tissue.
We are extremely proud that one of our own cornea transplant patients has become a "Recipient Ambassador" for Donate Life America. Britanya had a cornea transplant in both eyes and is now helping to promote Eye Donor Awareness through her own "Story of Hope." Cornea Associates of Texas utilizes donor corneas for approximately 1,000 patients each year. Breaking this down, we need approximately 3 qualified donors every day just to supply the tissue donation needs of our practice. During our "Recycle your Eyes" campaign in March, several new donors registered in Texas. Now, no matter where you are in the United States, you can become and organ, eye and tissue donor by clicking "Register Now."