August 02, 2012
Kelly Hall YMCA Marks National Minority Donor Awareness Day
Kelly Hall YMCA, along with Executive Director Stan Lewis, was honored to host Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, advocacy groups and community members as they celebrated the 16th National Minority Donor Awareness Day.
Given that Kelly Hall is a place that strengthens the neighborhood and brings families together, it was fitting that Secretary White, 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, and representatives from Gift of Hope, an organ and tissue donor network, the Illinois Eye-Bank and the National Kidney Foundation convened there yesterday to educate and encourage people of all minority groups about the ever-pressing need for tissue, eye and organ donors. Minorities make up 56 percent of the more than 115,000 men, women and children on the national organ transplant waiting list.
The Kelly Hall YMCA family has experienced firsthand the life saving gift of organ donation. In 2010 the daughter of YMCA sports coordinator Tawan Hamilton, a YMCA employee for 16 years, required and received a heart transplant. Just two years later Hamilton’s son also required that same surgery, and fortunately a match was found for him as well. In addition to the Hamilton family sharing their story, a heart transplant recipient, Manuel Avila, was on hand to meet for the first time his donor’s family members.
According to Donate Life Illinois, a single donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 50 people.
To learn how to register as a donor, visit http://donatelifeillinois.com.