Many Latinos are in need of organ transplants, but more Latino donors are sought

Health and Medical

Lucia Perez's family said if it wasn't for organ donors, she would not be alive today.

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Latinos are one of the largest groups in need of organ donations, but they often are the ones that don’t register to donate.

Southwest Transplant Alliance said more than 10,000 Texans are waiting for an organ transplant. More than 40% of those people are Latinos.

Lucia Perez’s family said if it wasn’t for organ donors, she would not be alive today. She had a liver transplant.

Southwest Transplant Alliance said one reason many Latinos are on the waiting list for organs is common medical ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure, which can cause organ failure.

But Karla Martinez, the Community Relations Specialist at Southwest Transplant Alliance, said while many are waiting for a transplant, there are not a lot of Latinos signing up to be donors.

“People don’t register because they don’t know all of the information. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions,” said Martinez.

“I didn’t know there were people dying because of needing an organ. And I didn’t know for the people in those lists, that’s the only option,” said Virginia Villegas, Lucy Perez’s mother.

Virginia Villegas said she was not well educated about organ donation until her daughter needed a liver.

Click here for more information on organ donation.

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