Campaign pushing for more Latino organ donors coming to Northern Nevada

This is a recurring recording of KOLO 8 News Now at 10.
Published: May. 13, 2022 at 9:39 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Statistics from 2020 show more than 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list.

That same data indicating about 20% are Latino but comprise around 14% of organ donors.

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

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

Peralta says his team is reaching out to business and educational leaders and others who have a following within that demographic.

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

The second step is to reach the youth, not to just spread information about organ donation, but healthy living advice.

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

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

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

The campaign currently has a focus on Las Vegas but is planning to reach Northern Nevada in the next few months.

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

The Hearts of Hope campaign is looking to share the stories of those who have been impacted by organ donation. If you’re interested in sending your testimony as a recipient or donor, click here.

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