Melvyn Hargrove

LifeNet Health Continues to Promote Awareness of Need for Diversity in Donation

Virginia Beach, Va. (Aug. 23, 2022) – LifeNet Health continues to advance the conversation about health equity in organ donation and transplantation. Our Multicultural Community Affairs Director Kia Potts and donor family member Yvonne Wild spoke to the Virginian-Pilot recently to raise awareness. View the story.

Wild’s involvement with LifeNet Health started when her father, Melvyn Hargrove, was killed in an accident in 2012. He had been outspoken with his family about his desire to donate organs. Wild reiterated, during her interview with the Virginian-Pilot, how much it helped to know his wishes. “We always knew he wanted to be a donor,” she said. “It was the easiest decision we had to make that day.” View Hargrove’s story.

Wild has become an advocate of organ donation. She joined the LifeNet Health Donor Family Advisory Committee and also serves as a Board Member.

While shared ethnicity is not a requirement for matching an organ, it has been shown to increase the likelihood of a genetic match between donor and recipient. Also, people with rare immune system markers are more likely to match someone from a similar ethnic background. This can increase the chances for long-term survival.

Nearly 60% of those on the national transplant waiting list are ethnically diverse, according to data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. In Virginia, nearly half of those waiting for an organ are Black. 

Through focused initiatives such as the One Hero campaign, LifeNet Health is encouraging everyone – and especially those in diverse communities – to have a conversation about organ donation and transplantation.   

To learn more, visit Health Equity in Organ Donation and Transplantation.

About LifeNet Health 
LifeNet Health helps save lives, restore health, and give hope to thousands each year. It is the world's most trusted provider of transplant solutions — from organ procurement to bio-implants and cellular therapies — and a leader in regenerative medicine, while always honoring the donors and healthcare professionals who enable healing.