Springfield celebrates National Minority Donor Awareness Month

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) – The Springfield community is increasing efforts to honor organ, eye, and tissue donors in light of the National Minority Donor Awareness Month.

Running through August 31, street light banners are provided along the 5th street in Springfield. The banners feature photos of local donors to celebrate their kindness and encourage more people of color to become organ and tissue donors.

Teneka Wyatt was one of the local donors. She was a loving teacher, mother, and grandmother that passed away last summer. Her tissue donations were gifted to transplant recipients in Texas, Iowa, Tennessee, and Switzerland.

There are nearly 4,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in Illinois. The majority of them are people of color. It is scientifically proven same ethnic background plays an essential role in the successful rate of a transplant.

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network and the Springfield Community are actively creating public attractions both online and in person to call for more donating registrations from people of color living in Illinois.

“National Minority Donor Awareness Month provides an opportunity to bring the community together to help save lives by honoring the legacies of minority donors, celebrating communities of color and providing facts and resources to help build trust and break down barriers,” said Gift of Hope President and CEO Harry Wilkins.

For more information about organ, eye and tissue donations, go to giftofhope.org.

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