Feliz National Hispanic Heritage Month!

Feliz National Hispanic Heritage Month! For those of you not familiar, NHHM is observed annually from September 15 – October 15 and it pays tribute to five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Forty-two percent of Hispanics living in Maryland come from these Central American Countries. These and other Latin American countries have widely influenced the makeup of the United States population and its peoples have touched every aspect of American life.

During Hispanic Heritage Month, The Living Legacy Foundation will be focusing on providing facts and education to the Hispanics living in our community. The lives of nearly 3,800 Hispanics in the United States were saved last year through organ donation and transplantation.  Many thousands more received their sight, health, and mobility through cornea or tissue transplants. National Hispanic Heritage Month is a great time to celebrate both the recipients and those who made their transplants possible through their decision to Donate Life.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR HISPANICS TO BECOME DONORS?

The most recent U.S. Census data listed Hispanics as approximately 16 percent of the total U.S. population. In Maryland, the Hispanic population has more than doubled since the last U.S. Census count in 2000. With the increase population size it is no surprise more than 20,000 Hispanics are waiting for an organ transplant nationally. Hispanics, like other minorities, are three times more likely than Caucasians to suffer from end stage renal disease and diabetes. Tragically, every 10 minutes another patient is added to the waiting list and 18 people die each day due to lack of organs and tissues. Currently, more than 16,500 Hispanics in the U.S. are waiting for kidney transplants.  For these patients, the lack of available organs means longer waiting periods on transplant lists, years spent on dialysis, and sometimes death. Statistics show Hispanics, like other minorities, have the best chance of a successful organ transplant if the donor is of the same ethnic background.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Get the facts on organ, eye and tissue donation and register as a donor today. Visit www.donatemaryland.org.

HOW CAN I BECOME AN ORGAN, EYE AND TISSUE DONOR?

  • Register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with your state donor registry.  To find out how, visit http://www.donatelifemaryland.org.  For information in Spanish, visit www.donevida.org.
  • Once you have decided and registered your decision to become a donor, it is important to share your decision with your family so that they know and understand your wishes.

Feliz Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, para los que no conocen, este mes se celebra  anualmente del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre y rinde tributo a la independencia de cinco países latinoamericanos – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras y Nicaragua.  42% de los hispanos que viven en Maryland son de esto países centro americano.  Estos y otros países latinoamericanos han influido considerablemente en la composición de la población de los Estados Unidos, y sus pueblos han tocado cada aspecto de la vida americana. 

En observación del Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, The Living Legacy Foundation se dedica a brindar información y educar a los hispanos que viven in nuestra comunidad. Las vidas de más de 3,800 hispanos en Estados Unidos se salvaron gracias a la donación y trasplante de órganos. Miles recibieron vista, salud, y movilidad a través de trasplantes de la córnea o del tejido. El Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana es una gran oportunidad para celebrar tanto a los beneficiarios como a las personas que tomaron la decisión de donar vida.

¿POR QUÉ ES IMPORTANTE QUE LOS HISPANOS SEAN DONANTES?

El censo más reciente realizado en EE.UU. establece que los hispanos representan aproximadamente el 16% de la población total del país!  470,000 Hispanos viven en Maryland, el doble que el censo del 2000.  Con el doble de tamaño de la población no es ninguna sorpresa que 20.000 hispanos están esperando un trasplante del órgano.  Los hispanos tienen tres veces más probabilidades que los caucásicos de sufrir de diabetes y de enfermedades renales en etapa terminal. Desafortunadamente, cada 10 minutos se agrega un nombre más a lista de espera y 18 personas mueren cada día debido a la falta de órganos y tejidos.  Actualmente, más de 16.500 hispanos en los E.E.U.U. están esperando trasplantes del riñón. Para estos pacientes, la carencia de órganos disponibles significa períodos de espera más largos, los años en diálisis, y en muchas veces la muerte. Las estadísticas demuestran que hispanos, como otras minorías, tienen mejor resultados de un trasplante cuando el donante es del mismo origen étnico.

¿QUÉ PUEDE HACER?

Obtenga información sobre la donación de órganos y tejidos. Visite la página de Internet en español www.donevida.org.

¿CÓMO PUEDO CONVERTIRME EN DONANTE DE ÓRGANOS Y TEJIDOS?

  • Inscríbase come donante en el registro de donantes en su estado. Visite www.donevida.org.
  • Después de haber decidido y documentado su deseo de ser un donante de órganos y tejidos, es importante que comunique su decisión a su familia.
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About Lauren

Lauren Muskauski is the communications associate at The Living Legacy Foundation. She heads up many community outreach initiatives and projects, with a focus on middle school, high school and college outreach. She also manages The LLF’s and Donate Life Maryland’s presence on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. Lauren’s commitment to donation started early when she registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor at the MVA upon receiving her first drivers’ license, but was then reinforced a few years later when her father passed away while waiting for a liver transplant. Now, she continues to be inspired on a daily basis by the generosity of donors and their families, as well as the gratitude exhibited by every recipient she meets.
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