03062019CM0370EAST ST. LOUIS – As a recipient of an organ donation himself, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) urges Illinois residents to register to become an organ donor to decrease the wait list of Illinois minority residents awaiting a transplant. 

“As a minority who has received an organ transplant, I understand the frustration and anticipation individuals have when needing an organ,” Belt said. “August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, and minorities donate the least, which is why I urge minorities who are healthy to provide a blessing with an organ donation.”

Currently, 4,000 people in Illinois are on the waiting list for an organ or tissue transplant, and 59% of the waiting list are people of color. People of color are more likely to need organ transplants due to illnesses that affect the kidney, such as diabetes. More than 300 people die statewide each year waiting for an organ transplant. 

Nationally, African Americans make up the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. There are 1,477 African Americans who are on the waiting list and only received 172 donations in 2019. Hispanic and Asian Americans have a combined number of 1,066 people awaiting a transplant and only received 154 donations last year, according to the Illinois Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. 

For more information and to register as an organ donor, visit www.LifeGoeOon.com or call 1-800-210-2106.