Giving The Gift Of Hope

By Rose Cordes

April 22, 2011 Updated Apr 22, 2011 at 8:45 PM CDT

Every 10 minutes someone is added to the organ donation list...while 18 people die everyday waiting on a donor organ.

Cold rainy weather did not stop one local organization from getting the word out Friday about saving lives. Teams from the Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donation Network went door-to-door in Peoria to encourage residents, especially african americans, to register to as organ donors.

Although organs can be transplanted across racial and ethnic groups, genetic make up can have a significant role in donor-recepient compatibility.

The process only takes 30 seconds and one donor can save more than 25 lives.

That's just one of the message team members were trying to stress Friday.

"As part of the awareness we want to...dispell the myths let people know that it is important. You can save lives through being an organ donor. But also letting them know about the importance of health and wellness, taking care of themselves, getting regular mammograms, eating healthy, and changing certain lifestyles so that they can potentially be organ donors," said Gift of Hope Community Affairs Specialist, Carolyn Vazquez.

Gift of Hope says its especially important for african americans to become donors because the group makes up 29 percent of patients on the transplant list but only accounts for 14 percent of all donors.

If you want to register to be an organ donor visit www.donatelifeillinois.org

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