JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A growing number of people in minority communities throughout the U.S. are awaiting transplants. Diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, liver and pancreas are prevalent in the community, and the people suffering could live longer and healthier lives if organs were available to transplant.
But for many reasons, people are hesitant to sign up and become organ donors.
Shirley Brill wants to change that. She is working to make a Positively Jax difference and increase awareness in the minority community about the importance of becoming organ donors.
In fact, she knows first-hand about the importance because she is a double lung transplant recipient.
Shirley formed E-MAT: Educating Minorites About Transplants.
According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, approximately 106,500 people in the U.S. are awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant. Every 10 minutes another name is added to that list. On average, 17 people a day die because the organs aren’t available. Eight thousand deaths occur annually because of a lack of organ donations. One donor can save as many as eight lives and enhance 75 more.
That’s why Shirley is working to teach members of the minority community here, especially African Americans about the importance of becoming an organ donor.
She organizes events and features stories from transplant recipients and donor families, dispelling the many myths and misconceptions that exist.
Her goal is to offer a voice to those who need support and who are looking for a new lease on life.
For more information visit www.emat-inc.org.