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Nevada Donor Network, Latin Chamber partner for Latino organ donation effort

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The decision to become an organ donor is more common among white donor than among donors of color. 

The Nevada Donor Network and the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Nevada are partnering on a new statewide donor outreach program called “Heart of Hope” aimed at the Latino community.

In Nevada, there are over 600 people waiting for an organ transplant, and 140 are Latinos.

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Steven Peralta, who heads the Nevada Donor Network, said Latinos and African Americans are less likely to become organ donors compared with white and AAPI communities. Peralta said much of this is due to a general distrust in the health care system and false beliefs. 

"If you’re an organ donor, they’re not going to [not] do everything they can to save your life because they want your organs. That is 100% false," he said.

Another issue is addressing cultural common health issues that lead to organ failure.  

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“Obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes … ultimately results in kidney failure which ultimately results in organ failure. That ultimately results in someone needing a transplant. So our campaign is educate our community about some of these issues because we’re trying to prevent transplants from happening in the first place," he said.

The “Corazon de Esperanza,” or Heart of Hope, outreach campaign will include bilingual information, and the Nevada Donor Network along with the Latin Chamber of Commerce will present organ donors and transplant recipients to tell their stories in person. 

Yvette Fernandez is KNPR’s daily news reporter and announcer. She joined the station September 2021.