Campaign pushing for more Latino organ donors to come to Northern Nevada

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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) — Statistics for 2020 show that more than 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list.

This same data indicating that about 20% are Latinos but includes about 14% of organ donors.

In an effort to increase this percentage, the Nevada Donor Network and the Latin Chamber of Commerce launched the “Corazon de Esperanza” or Hearts of Hope campaign.

“It’s all about education and awareness,” said Steven Peralta, president of the Nevada Donor Network Foundation. “So we wanted to reach deeply into the Latino community.”

Peralta says his team caters to business and education leaders and others who have a following within that demographic.

“It’s meeting our community where it is. Whether they’re at chamber meetings, whether they’re at school meetings, whether they’re at parent associations…Wherever the community is, we want to be there,” Peralta said. “So, number one, provide the information.”

The second step is to reach out to young people, not just to spread information about organ donation, but healthy living tips.

“Latinos are three to four times more likely to have multiple health factors that would lead to organ failure,” Peralta said. “It’s much easier for a Latino to be the matched organ donor with another Latino who is on the organ transplant waiting list.”

However, there is one main reason Hispanics give for not wanting to be organ donors.

“Is the hospital going to do everything they can to save my life?” Even if they see that I’m a registered organ donor,’ and the answer is absolutely yes,” Peralta said.

The campaign is currently focused on Las Vegas but plans to reach northern Nevada in the coming months.

You can register to be an organ donor through the DMV or by filling out this form.

The Hearts of Hope campaign seeks to share the stories of those who have been touched by organ donation. If you wish to send your testimonial as a recipient or donor, click here.

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