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Arora Brings Awareness To Multiethnic Organ Donation In August

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Arora Brings Awareness To Multiethnic Organ Donation In August


Audrey Coleman, the communications director at Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA), is excited about multi-ethnic donor month celebrated every August. ARORA’s mission is to restore lives through the recovery of organs and tissues. Audrey has been with the organization for 20 years and currently runs their public relations program and manages the aftercare professionals who offer donor family support.

 A big part of what they do is support the families of donors through the grief process after organs or tissues are given to a recipient. ARORA never stops offering support. Every spring, all the donor families ever served are invited to an event to honor their loved ones at the Little Rock Zoo. The average of almost 1,000 attendees a year is a testament to ARORA’s impact. In honor of multiethnic donor awareness month, ARORA is focusing on multiethnic community engagement through communication and education about donor organs and tissues.

August is marked as National Minority Donor Awareness Month, sometimes also called National Multiethnic Donor Awareness Month. Activities through the month are promoted ARORA and the nation’s 56 federal- mandated organ procurement organizations (OPOs) and national groups like the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program to bring heightened awareness to donation and transplantation among minorities. 

Among the more than 100,000 Americans are waiting for transplant of a heart, liver, lung, pancreas, kidney, or intestine, approximately 60% are from multicultural communities made up of minorities. Of that total, 29% are African American and 20% of Hispanic origin. 

“Nationally, African Americans are well represented, especially for kidney donation,” explains Audrey. Donor organs are not matched by race, but there can be characteristics within a group that can make them an easier match, which is why ARORA promotes diversity in the donor pool. African Americans and Hispanics are the most prominent non-white groups in Arkansas, so ARORA is traveling to countries with significant African American numbers and setting up booths at farmers markets to discuss health and wellness. 

“Ultimately, the illnesses that plague some of our communities are the root cause of the need for organ transplantation, and if we can correct diet and health, we can eliminate some of the need for organ donations,” says Audrey. Continuing their efforts to promote health and wellness, ARORA will co-host an event with the city of Little Rock in November; the details are still  pending but you can go to arora.org for more information. 

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