The Daryn Harkey Wellness Foundation has accepted the challenge to educate and spread knowledge of the unlimited possibilities that organ donorhship provides. Hopefully this increased public awareness will lead to an increased number of potential donors.
Answers to Questions you might have...
How are transplant recipients chosen?
Primary care physicians determine whether or not to refer their patients to a transplant center for evaluation. If, after extensive testing, it is determined a person is a good candidate for transplantation, their name will be added to a national awaiting list which is maintained by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and overseen by the Healthcare Resources Services Administration (HRSA) a division of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
What happens after your name is on the transplant list?
If you are a patient on the National Organ Transplant Wait List, information vital to your care is provided to the UNOS. This information is then cross-referenced....
Priority is given to patients based on a complex clinical formula established by transplant doctors, public representatives, ethicists and organ recovery agencies ensuring that organs and tissues are distributed fairly to patients who are in need.
• urgency of need
• length of time on the waiting list
• tissue typing
• blood typing
• organ size and compatibility
Factors never considered: Gender, race, age, celebrity status or income.
How does your religion feel about organ transplantation?
Organ and tissue donation are approved by nearly all major religions, considered an act of charity and love, perhaps the greatest gift. If you have questions, you should contact your clergy.
How can I become a donor?
Anyone can elect to have their organs and/or tissue donated at the time of their death. You should obtained and sign a donor card and discuss your wishes with members of your family.
Donor cards may be obtained at your Department of Motor Vehicles, local health fairs, public libraries or on-line by clicking here: Donor Card.
Where should I keep my donor card?
Once you have chosen to become an organ or tissue donor at the time of your death, it is important that you have signed a donor card.
Perhaps equally , if not more, important is that your family is aware of your wishes to become a donor so that they are certain to respect your decision.
Carrying the donor card with your other personal identification is helpful. Or you may choose to have a close family member, who is aware of your decision, hold onto your donor card for safe keeping.
Doctors will not try to save me if I am willing to be a donor.
Some African Americans are afraid they will not receive the best medical advice
and treatment in an emergency if their wish to become a donor is known.
The truth is:
Doctors take an oath to save lives.
Donation is not considered until after all efforts to save a person have failed and brain death, the legal and medical determination of death, has occurred. The transplant team staff, by law, does not take part in the patient's care up to this point and, in fact, is not notified until death has been legally declared and your family has consented to donation. The truth is all medical options to keep the patient alive will be exhausted before the process to determine whether a patient is a candidate for transplantation is given consideration.
White people, rich people and famous people will get a transplant before us.
Famous and other wealthy people use who they know and their money to
buy their way to the top of the waiting list.
The truth is:
Anyone who has been determined in need of an organ transplant is eligible for one.
The National Transplant Act of 1984 established equal access to donated organs and tissues for all potential recipients on the basis of need and availability, not race and wealth. The United Network for Organ Sharing, under the auspices of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, maintains a national waiting list which lists each waiting participant by height, weight, age, and blood group. Priority is given according to many factors including length of time on the waiting list, urgency of need, and blood, tissue and organ compatibility. Priority is determined following strict procedures and guidelines. No one can buy their way to a higher spot on the wait list. The truth is the sickest patients receive organs first, not the richest, the prettiest or the more privileged.
African American organs will go to whites more often than other Blacks.
The Daryn Harkey Wellness Foundation recognizes that cultural traditions, religious beliefs and perceptions of the health care system may all affect attitudes regarding organ donation.
For many people organ donation is a subject that can be hard to talk about or even think about because it involves thinking about one’s own death or the death of a loved one. For some, feeling that their religion would not condone such a procedure is a deterrent, and for others, thinking that they would not receive adequate medical attention, if they were considered to be a candidate for transplantation, is a concern.
Reaching out to the nation's African American community is a high priority for the Daryn Harkey Wellness Foundation. We take the position that where there is knowledge, there is direction for positive action. The critical point is to become educated and informed about organ and tissue transplantation. As an individual becomes more involved in educating themselves, they are able to make better and more informed decisions and choices about their life and their legacy.
African Americans....The Truth vs. the Myth
What we should know about organ and tissue transplantation.
My religion does not approve of this.
Many families cite religious concerns as a reason not to
donate organ or tissue after their loved one has passed away.
The truth is:
All major religions support donation.
When deciding whether or not to become a donor, people often consider their
religion's views on the subject. All organized religions have stated positions
approving organ and tissue donation, or showing no opposition to it.
A quote from the United Methodist Church’s 1984 policy statement reads as follows:
“The church recognizes the life-giving benefits of organ and tissue donation, and thereby encourages all Christians to become organ and tissue donors...as part of their ministry to others in the name of Christ, who gave His life that we might have life in its fullness.”
The truth is:
African Americans waiting for kidneys will most likely benefit from African American donors.
If you donate an organ, a kidney for example, where genetic make-up is a critical factor for transplantation, then it is quite possible, though not a guarantee, that your organ will go to another African American. African Americans make up approximately 34 percent of all patients nationwide who are waiting for kidney transplants, and because transplantation is often enhanced by matching donors of the same ethnic and racial groups, African Americans on the waiting list for kidneys will quite likely benefit from African American donors.
In addition there are 22,000 African Americans currently awaiting transplantation across the United States. Therefore, even if the organs you are donating do not need to be genetically matched, there is still a reasonable likelihood that the recipient may be Black. The truth is transplants save and enhance lives regardless of race.
It’s going to cost a lot of money.
My family does not have a lot of money. They are going to have to pay my hospital emergency bills, my funeral expenses and now they are going to get a bill for the transplant too.
The truth is:
There is absolutely no cost to your family if you become an organ tissue donor.
A donor’s family is never charged for any part of the transplantation procedure. Once the patient is declared brain dead and consent for donation has been obtained from the next-of-kin, the patient's hospital bill stops. All costs then associated with the transplant are paid for by the
organ procurement organization (OPO) in that service area. The truth is donor families are never charged anything, nor do they receive any payment or compensation for donation.
My family will not be able to have a normal funeral for me.
In order to transplant my tissues and organs, my body will be mutilated
and I’ll have to have to be in a closed casket for my funeral.
The truth is:
Organ and tissue transplantation does not interfere with funeral arrangements.
During transplantation,the utmost care is given to ensure that the donor’s body is treated with dignity and respect. Donated organs are removed surgically, in a routine operation similar to abdominal surgery. The body is then routinely transferred to the funeral home of your choice and the family can then make arrangements according to their wishes. The truth is the family can even have an open casket funeral service because their loved one will look the same as before.
The number of African Americans waiting for an organ transplant is increasing much faster than those registering as donors. This is an important fact because research has shown that, in some instances, organs donated from a member of the same ethnic or racial group may have a greater rate of success. That is not to say that race and ethnicity are factors in determining an individual’s chances of receiving organs or tissues. Organ allocation is performed in a fair and objective process, ensuring that every patient on the waiting list has an equal chance of receiving an organ.
There are many issues crucial to that determination including severity of recipients condition, time on the waiting list, blood type and size and compatibility of the donated organ. The final decision is based on specific medical and scientific criteria and is not influenced by a person's political, financial, social or celebrity status or race. Simply put, the sickest patient, the patient with the most dire need, receives organs first.
Kidneys on top of list....disproportionately affected by illnesses....high blood pressure
Given the rich tradition, if not moral obligatiion, that Blacks have in taking care of our own, and caring for our families, the notion or thought that
We have always been a strong people in face of challenges...innovators thinkers, problem solvers. resourceful..champions survivors.
The need for this conversation would not be occurring if it wasn’t a fact that donor shortage hsa reached a national crisis. There are more people on the waiting list than there are donated organs. Approximately one-third of the people on the waiting list die before the organ (s) needed to save their lives is found. Needless to say, the longer the wait, the greater the risk of death.
The solution's simple.....increase donor awareness...increase donor registration...increase donation...
Save a life.....Start a legacy.
90,800: estimated number of people in the U. S. waiting for transplants
22,000: the number of African Americans waiting for transplants
21,265: the number of transplants performed n 2005
2,374: children under 18 years of age waiting for transplants
740: number of African Americans who donated organs in 2001
275: transplant centers nationwide
166: percentage increase in the number of African Americans waiting
for organ transplants over the past decade
50: the number of lives that can be enhanced from just one tissue donor
35: percentage of people needing kidney transplants who are African
27: percentage of people on the national waiting list who are African
17: people die everyday waiting for a transplant
13: number of minutes before a new name is added to the national
12: Percentage of US population who are Black
8: the number of lives that can be saved by just one organ donor
1: the number of opportunities you may have to save those lives