HARRISBURG, Pa. - In honor of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) will host a Celebration of Praise Gospel Fest on July 31, 2010. The event, which begins at 6 p.m., will take place at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, 980 Liberty Ave., downtown Pittsburgh.
"While candidates can match a donor from another racial or ethnic group, transplant success rates increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic background," said CORE's Susan A. Stuart, President and CEO of CORE. "Consequently, a lack of organs donated by multicultural populations can contribute to longer waiting periods for transplantation. Therefore it is imperative that we share this very important message with all Pennsylvanians and work together to increase the number of organ and tissue donors across the commonwealth."
Speakers for this event will include Bishop Reverend Dr. Loren E Mann of the Pentecostal Temple and CORE's Susan Stuart. Gospel groups from Pennsylvania will be performing, including Phillip Carter and the Sounds of Victory. Mr. Carter and his ensemble are the 2010 winners of the National Recording Artist and Stellar Award honors.
The following day, Aug. 1, Gift of Life (GOL) Donor Program will host its 15th Annual Gospel Concert and Vigil at Yesha Ministries Worship Center, 2308 Snyder Ave. in Philadelphia, 5 p.m. This free event will feature several musical groups from the local gospel community coming together to sing the praises of donation. As part of the program, candles will be lit to honor the thousands of individuals waiting for a life-saving transplant and raise awareness in the minority community about the critical need for more African-American and Hispanic donors.
"Minority patients comprise more than half of the national transplant waiting list. For instance, African Americans and other minorities are three times more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease than Caucasians, but 73 percent of organ donors are Caucasian," said GOL's Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO. "Since some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver that are best treated through transplantation are found more frequently in multicultural populations, therefore there is an even greater need to increase the number of minority organ and tissue donors, not only in Pennsylvania but nationwide."
First recognized by President Clinton in 1996, National Minority Awareness Day is designated to reach out to minorities and focus on the various fears and obstacles associated with organ donation, encourage healthy living and disease prevention, and promote life-saving organ, eye and tissue donation.
For more information on organ and tissue donation or to add the organ donor designation to your driver's licenses or state identification cards, visit www.donatelife-pa.org.
Editor's Notes: Interviews for either the CORE or GOL regions can be arranged by calling the Contact listed.
Below are some additional statistics about the need for minority organ and tissue donors:
CORE, Center for Organ Recovery and Education, is a regional not-for-profit agency that is the primary call center and intermediary for the organ recovery and allocation process that serves 155 hospitals and more than six million people in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County in New York. CORE has helped to pioneer organ procurement allocation and recovery for this region since it was founded in 1977 as the Pittsburgh Transplant Foundation. For more information visit www.core.org
About Gift of Life Donor Program
Since 1974, Gift of Life Donor Program has served as the link between donors and patients awaiting life-saving transplants in the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. In that tenure, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 30,000 life-saving organ transplants and hundreds of thousand tissue transplants. For more information, visitwww.donors1.org
Life Begins with You Campaign
The Life Begins with You campaign is a collaborative initiative between Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL), the Center for Organ & Recovery Education (CORE) – the two organ procurement organizations serving Pennsylvania – and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Transportation. It is funded by state residents through voluntary contributions included with driver's license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings. All contributions are used by the Governor Robert P. CaseyMemorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund to educate residents, build awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of people who sign up to become donors on their driver's license, learner's permit or state identification card.
One Extraordinary Way to Say Love Life.
When you choose to become an organ and tissue donor, you have the power to give the most precious gift – life. Join the nearly four million Pennsylvanians who have said "yes" to organ and tissue donation by adding the donor designation to your driver's license, learner's permit or state identification card. Sign up to be an organ and tissue donor today by visiting www.donatelife-pa.org because Life Begins with You.