HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Advocates at Donate Life Virginia report people of color make up about 60% of individuals on the waiting list for organ donations.

The organization wants more people, especially minorities, to consider giving the gift of life to a fellow Virginia by signing up to be an organ donor.

Lara Malbon with Donate Life Virginia said due to higher rates of high blood pressure and diabetes in communities of color, those illnesses can lead to organ failure.

Malbon also said when the donor and patient have similar genetic markers it ensures a higher rate of survival. One person can help save 8 lives and heal up to 75 others. 

“It’s so important,” Lara Malbon, Donate Life Virginia. “Right now, there are 2,400 Virginians who are waiting for that life-saving organ donation. We all have the opportunity to help save lives and heal lives. “

You can sign up to be an organ donor at the DMV or you can visit Donate Life Virginia website.

To learn more about donating, CLICK HERE.