State Organ Collector Increasing Outreach to Minority Communities

Nov. 30, 2020, 6:09 p.m. ·

Group of Doctors Doing Operation Inside Room (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)

Nebraska’s federally appointed organ collector is reaching out to minority communities to persuade more people of color to become organ donors.

Live On Nebraska President and CEO Kyler Herber told NET News the push comes as internal data shows more than half of all people waiting for an organ donation are from a minority community, “yet the number of people that we see to register to donate from a minority background, they register at much lower rates when compared to Caucasian people.”

Herber said the point of the initiative was to get out the message that organ donations are “cross-cultural.”

Art Brown is a spokesperson working with Live On as part of a multi-cultural initiative by the organization that enlists minority spokespeople to reach out to minority communities He was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a hereditary disease that can lead to kidney failure, about 10 years ago.

“It’s the luck of the draw, unfortunately,” Brown said.” At the onset of the diagnosis, the doctors told me, ‘eventually you will need a kidney,’.”

While initially being treated with medication and diet, within the last 18-months Brown's medication stopped working. Now he must undergo in-home dialysis treatments for nine hours every day until he receives a donation.

He remains optimistic.

“Beyond this, I have pretty decent health,” he said. “Going through what I’m going through, it could be a lot worse.”

Brown’s been on a waiting list for a new kidney for around 3 years. He hopes to use his story as a reminder of the life-altering importance of organ donations.

For more information on organ donations and Live On Nebraska, click here.