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Minorities Make Up More Than Half Of U.S Organ Transplant Wait List

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By Cathy Carter

Every day 18 people in the U.S die while waiting for an organ transplant, minorities are especially at risk.

In Southeast Washington Rhonda Griffin from the Washington Regional Transplant Community is manning the table at a community health fair. She's registering people to become organ and tissue donors.

"Minorities make up 50 percent of the waiting list so we're the least likely to donate," Griffin tells a potential donor.

While the waiting list for transplant surgery has grown, the number of donors has not. D.C. based Gospel singer Chris Page was one of the lucky ones. Two years ago he had a successful cornea transplant from a deceased tissue donor. He says he thinks about that person every day.

"Well one of the things I always say is thank-you. And one of the things after I end every performance, I touch my eye and point to the sky as a way of saying thank-you to the person who gave for me to have sight," says Page.

Since his own transplant, Page has registered to become an organ donor and donates a portion of his CD sales to Donate Life, a national organ donation organization.

NPR

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