Nevada Donor Network and the Latin Chamber of Commerce of Nevada have partnered to launch, Corazon de Esperanza (Heart of Hope), a statewide Latino organ, eye and tissue donor outreach campaign. The first initiative of its kind by the two organizations, Corazon de Esperanza is geared towards educating and encouraging Latino residents and other populations about the importance of becoming donors to help save lives.

“Historically, multicultural communities are less likely to register to become organ, eye and tissue donors due to myths and misconceptions coupled with a general distrust of the health care system,” said Steven Peralta, president of Nevada Donor Network Foundation. “We know that through education, advocacy and putting a ‘face’ to donation – sharing stories from Latinos in our community whose lives have been saved by organ donation or who have a family member who made the choice to become a heroic donor – we can save more lives.”

Members of the Latin Chamber of Commerce will serve as ambassadors for the campaign, connecting with their customers, colleagues and loved ones to lend more trust to the organ donation process. Nevada Donor Network will support members by providing bilingual informational materials about multicultural donation and dispelling myths surrounding organ donation; customized social media content for members to use on their channels; participate in community outreach events targeted to the Latino community; as well as provide speakers to give presentations in front of groups and employers.

“Corazon de Esperanza is all about engaging the Latino community in Nevada in conversations about organ, eye, tissue donation, dispelling myths that create a barrier to registration and moving the needle on the number of Latinos registered to become donors,” said Peter Guzman, president of the Latin Chamber of Commerce. “We encourage our community and the over 90,000 Hispanics across the state to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.”

Nationally, 60% of the transplant waiting list are people from a multicultural background, which includes Hispanics/Latinos, Blacks/African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. In Nevada, there are currently 140 Hispanic/Latino Nevadans on the transplant waiting list, and 22,218 (20%) of people on the national transplant waiting list are Hispanic/Latinos. Certain health conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure that can lead to the need for an organ transplant, contributes to the high number of minorities on the waiting list.

While donors of different backgrounds routinely match, there is a higher likelihood of achieving a match if the donor and intended recipient share the same ethnic background. Critical factors in donor/recipient matching, such as blood types and tissue markers, are more likely to be found among members of the same ethnicity.

“When we talk about the need for greater diversity in registered donors, there are two factors that come into play: Donor and recipient matching and increasing access to transplantation for everyone,” said Peralta. “If we can increase the diversity of donors, which increases the likelihood of matching, all individuals waiting for a second chance at life will have a better chance of receiving a life-saving organ transplant.”

For more information on Nevada Donor Network and the Corazon de Esperanza campaign, please visit www.nvdonor.org/multicultural or the Spanish version page at https://www.nvdonor.org/es/multicultural.

About Latin Chamber of Commerce of Nevada  

The mission of the Latin Chamber of Commerce is to promote the success of small businesses by facilitating positive business, cultural, and educational relationships.​ The Latin Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic group of business and community leaders that are focused on promoting Hispanic commerce, community, and culture in one of the top 20 largest cities in the United States. We are also the premier Hispanic Chamber serving the State of Nevada.

About Nevada Donor Network 

Nevada Donor Network is a federally designated 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) committed to maximizing the gift of life and health through organ and tissue donation. Established in 1987, Nevada Donor Network is one of only 57 OPOs in the U.S. serving more than three million people in the state of Nevada and 100,000 potential transplant recipients across the country. They work collaboratively with hospital staff and community partners to promote research and provide a strong support network to courageous donor families who’ve turned loss into hope. At Nevada Donor Network, they encourage Nevadans to help individuals in need of life-saving transplants through education, research and

action. Nevada Donor Network is a member of Donate Life Nevada, an affiliate of Donate Life America, whose state-wide efforts encourage Nevadans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. For more information, please visit www.nvdonor.org/.