KNOW THE FACTS

 About Organ Donation

African Americans make up 13% of the population, yet they make up 34% of those waiting for a kidney and 25% waiting for a heart

20% of all transplants in 2014 were African American patients

22 people die each day waiting on a lifesaving transplant

73% African American transplant recipients received a kidney in 2014

8,000 people die each year waiting

16% of all deceased donors were African American

KNOW THE TRUTH

 About Organ Donation

MYTH

There’s no difference between brain death and being in a coma.

TRUTH

Brain death is the medical and legal determination of death. Unlike a coma, there is no recovery from brain death. Brain death is final.

MYTH

Rich and famous people get organs first.

TRUTH

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) matches organs according to height, weight and blood type, followed by medical urgency and time on the waiting list.*

*The factors used in matching include blood type, time spent waiting, other important medical information, how sick the person is, and geographic location. Race, income, and celebrity are NEVER considered.

MYTH

If they see I’m a donor at the hospital, they won’t try to save my life.

TRUTH

When you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. Period. Donation doesn’t become a possibility until all lifesaving methods have failed.

MYTH

I have a medical condition, so I can’t be a donor.

TRUTH

Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor.*

*The transplant team will determine at an individual’s time of death whether donation is possible. You should still consider registering. Even HIV patients can get transplants through HIV to HIV donation.

MYTH

Organs go to people who didn’t take care of theirs.

TRUTH

Most people are on the waiting list because they were born with, or developed, diseases that have caused organ failure.

MYTH

Organs are bought and sold illegally.

TRUTH

Due to the complexity of organ transplantation, it would be impossible for organs to be bought or sold. It’s illegal.

MYTH

Somebody could take my organs and sell them.

TRUTH

Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. Violators can be punished with prison sentences and fines.

MYTH

If I’m in a coma, they could take my organs.

TRUTH

The majority of deceased organ donors are patients who have been declared brain dead or may have been declared dead by cardiac death*

*But brain death is NOT the same as coma. People can recover from comas, but not from brain death. Brain death is final.

Community Stories

Cam’ron Matthews

Cam’ron was a young man who younger children in his community looked up to. He was not just the captain of his football team, but also a very loving and respectable young man. On October 16, 2015 Cam’ron passed out after a game and the next day he passed away. It turns out that when Cam’ron received his driver’s license, he checked “yes” to becoming an organ donor. 

That decision saved six lives including his grandfather who needed a kidney.

This is a grassroots campaign to educate the African American community about organ donation. Our goal is to spread awareness, dispel misconceptions and communicate the need for donation in the community.