David Moore urges more support for organ donors
David Moore, a Candidate for Secretary of State, Stands with Organ Donor and Recipient to Tout the Benefits of Organ Donation
Secretary of State candidate, David Moore, wants to build on the giving spirit of the state’s Organ/Tissue Donor Program by making sure all Illinoisans are given a second chance at life, if the need ever occurs. He spent the month of August, which is National Minority Donor Awareness Month, promoting the benefits of organ donation.
One of the responsibilities of the Illinois secretary of state’s office is to maintain the state’s official registry of residents who wish to donate organs and/or tissue upon their death.
Organs such as kidneys, segments of the liver and portions of the pancreas and intestine can be donated with the donor continuing to live a healthy life. African Americans, however, are the least likely group to receive a kidney donation from a living donor, which is why Moore believes targeted public education campaigns are needed.
At a news conference, outside the James R. Thompson Center, organ recipient Andrew Hines and organ donor Daniel Johnson joined Moore. The 47–year-old Hines received a kidney transplant July 28 after five years of dialysis. He said his kidney failure was the result of stress and poor eating habits.
“This is no joke. It was probably the worst five years of my life. Now, I have a second chance and I’m not going to mess up that second chance,” said the former college athlete. He went on to implore African Americans to start eating better and exercising more.
Johnson, who is the son of former Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, became a kidney donor at 25-years-old. Four years later, Johnson said he is doing well.
“When you do decide to donate, when you do decide to become a living donor, it’s possible to have a successful and healthy life afterward, he said.
Currently, 4,700 Illinois residents are on the waiting list for an organ/tissue transplant. Each year, more than 300 Illinoisans die while waiting.
In 2016, African Americans accounted for 30% of the overall organ donation waiting list, and 33% of the kidney list, despite being only 13% of the U.S. population.
“As secretary of state, I will make public education about organ donation a priority, especially in community of color; work with federal elected officials and Organ Procurement Organizations to make sure they’re being racially sensitive to all patients; work to make sure staff at OPOs are diverse and reflect the patient community; and make sure Latino, Asian and Native American populations receive factual information in their own language and from trusted sources,” Moore outlined.
Research has shown that investing in educating communities of color about the facts of organ donation can produce major dividends for individuals, families and the state.
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