National minority organ donor awareness week brings hope for thousands
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a signature that can save thousands of lives, but also one so many people are reluctant to give.
Right now, there are thousands of people across the country waiting for lifesaving organ transplants and more than half of them are minorities. That's why this week is dedicated to bringing awareness to the need for minority donors.
Two-year old Audree Lane and her mom Tonita Rose don't look like what they've been through.
"She had heart failure," said Rose.
At six-months old, Aubree was diagnosed with something called dialated cardiomyopathy, which means she has an enlarged heart that doesn't work correctly.
"Probably one of the hardest things to watch your daughter go through something like that and you can't do anything," Rose said.
Doctors told Rose that Aubree would need a heart transplant.
"That was the worst part you were praying for her to get a heart but you also knew that you were praying for someone to pass, so it was hard," said Rose.
After a month on the list, Audree received a lifesaving heart transplant.
"She has had a few hiccups here and there, nothing for a heart standpoint, she has had zero rejection," said Rose.
You could say Aubree is fortunate, but thousands of people -- especially minorities -- are still waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
"Nearly 60 percent of the waiting list are minorities. African Americans are the number one minority group that are most often in need, especially of kidney transplants," said Amber McGuire, with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates.
McGuire said this has been designated National Minority Organ Donor Awareness Week to encourage more people of color to donate life.
"There is a shortage of minorities that support the mission of saving lives thru organ donation and that's represented on the waiting list," he said.
That's why Tonita Rose made the decision to donate life.
"I am registered," Rose said. "I know almost all of my family is registered; I've even convinced some of my friends to register."
To find out how you can join the organ donor registry, click here.
Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.