On May 1st, Mark Zuckerberg announced a new “Organ Donor” feature on Facebook. You can now share with your family, friends and the rest of the social network your donor status. This is the response by Sandy Shih Andrada, the President of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation.
On behalf of the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT), we applaud Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for elevating the vital importance of organ and tissue donation among its millions of users . The increased transparency into one’s status as a registered organ and tissue donor will surely spark lively discussions regarding the decision to donate and save lives. Indeed, this discussion is especially timely within the African American community, which suffers disproportionately from myriad health disparities (high blood pressure, diabetes) that can lead to end-stage organ failure. Yet, there continues to be a widening gap in the percentage of African Americans saying “yes” to donation and those in need of life-saving transplants. This trend can also be seen in other multicultural communities. We have already noted an exponential increase in the number of people signing up to become donors on the heels of the Facebook announcement May 1st; our hope is that we will see more communities of color exploring the possibility of organ and tissue donation, making their donation decision and sharing their decisions with their families, friends and loved ones.
Sandy Shih Andrada
President, Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT)