National Minority Donor Awareness Day Encourages Minorities to Join the State's Donor Registry

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Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network to hold press conference and donation drive to encourage people of all minority groups—African-Americans, Latinos and others—to join the Organ/Tissue Donor Registry and talk to their family members about their decision.

“Although ethnicity and race are not determining factor in donations, the success rates of transplants increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic and racial group,” said Jack Lynch, Director of Community Affairs for Gift of Hope.

WHAT:     
Observance of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, including press conference and donation drive, to encourage people of all minority groups—African-Americans, Latinos and others—to join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry and talk to their family members about their decision.

WHO:     
Robert B. Steele, Cook County Commissioner, to speak about how minority populations are disproportionately affected by illnesses that can lead to the need for organ, tissue or eye transplants, including his own experience of receiving a kidney from his sister after a 27-year battle with Type 2 diabetes.

  • Debra G. Wesley, Executive Vice President for Community Outreach at Sinai Health System
  • Alison Smith, Vice President for Operations, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
  • Raiza Mendoza, Latino Affairs Coordinator for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
  • Jack Lynch, Director of Community Affairs for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
  • Alejandro “Alex” Rodriguez, Gift of Hope Ambassador & brother of boxer “El Niño Azteca”

WHEN:    
Monday, August 1, 2011
10:00 – 10:30 a.m.    

WHERE:        
Sinai Community Institute (Mt. Sinai Hospital)
2653 West Ogden Avenue
Chicago, IL 60608
(corner of Ogden and Washtenaw avenues)
Please enter at the Washtenaw Avenue entrance
General Parking lot is located immediately next to hospital

WHY:    
Currently, minorities make up 55 percent of the 111,000 people on the transplant waiting list in the United States. This year marks the 15th anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, established by former President Bill Clinton in 1996. Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is proud to serve as the federally designated, not-for-profit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides donor family services and public education in Illinois and northwest Indiana. For more information and to join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, visit giftofhope.org.

PHOTO OPPS:     
Various speakers including Cook County Commissioner Robert B. Steele
People registering on the state’s organ/tissue donor registry during the donor drive
Tree-planting ceremony as a symbol of the gift of life

CONTACT:    
Julie Sestan at The San Jose Group, Office: (312) 565-6446
Day of/Cell: (630) 202-5932, jsestan(at)sjadv(dot)com

Angélica Martínez at The San Jose Group, Office: (312) 565-641
Day of/Cell: (773) 615-3400, anmartinez(at)sjadv(dot)com

Dianne Hunter at Sinai Health System, Office: (773) 257-5228
dianne.hunter(at)sinai(dot)org

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Julie Sestan
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