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kidney transplants

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Kidney failure afflicts Pacific Islanders at much higher rates, but for reasons that some say amount to discrimination, they don’t get transplants as often.
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Despite the attention the 2003 report garnered, the nation has failed to make significant progress in addressing health disparities, said Brian Smedley.
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Not so wonderful POM juice, tainted drinking water in Calif. and an amazing kidney transplant story, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

Photo credit: National Guard via Flickr

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A father who lost his 11-year-old son to leukemia last year is one of five plaintiffs in a suit filed Feb. 15 in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif., challenging a 1984 federal ban on compensation for donors of bone marrow.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

During my reporting on organ donation for my fellowship project, one source’s quote stood out. “I’m a living example that organ donation works,” Vicky Mai Nguyen told me. She’s a 26-year-old woman who’s in good health and thriving. Had it not been for a liver transplant, she likely would never have made it to 2.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

As the list of patients in need of organ transplants continues to grow, Vietnamese communities in Southern California are urged to consider becoming organ donors.

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Soaring rates for obesity, diabetes and hypertension are fueling a serious gap between the need for kidney transplants and the availability of those organs, impacting Latinos and other Los Angeles patients who are in renal failure.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

Soaring rates for obesity, diabetes and hypertension are fueling a serious gap between the need for kidney transplants and the availability of those organs, impacting Latinos and other Los Angeles patients who are in renal failure.

Picture of Frank Sotomayor

This piece focused on Los Angeles’ ethnic communities: How they are key to increasing organ donations and, on the other side, how they benefit from these life-saving procedures. I wanted to establish a human connection right away — to show how a donated organ can help an individual who is very ill, almost to the point of dying. Through my reporting, I’ve also learned that donation helps the donor family by providing consolation for the loss. As a number of donor families have told me: “My loved one lives on, helping another person to stay alive.” With the help of OneLegacy, the organ donation agency for the L.A. area, I made contact with a donor’s parents and the recipient of a donated kidney that brought him back to health. That gave me my lead. Then, I described how OneLegacy is working to raise awareness about organ donation in the area’s three primary ethnic communities: Latino, Asian and African American. Together, these groups make up more than 60% of the population served by OneLegacy in Southern California. With the help of OPTN media specialists, I determined that these groups also make up about the same proportion of organ donors and organ recipients. The piece was posted on LA Beez, an online collaboration of ethnic media outlets. It was a pleasure to work with editor Jerry Sullivan and website specialist Kevin Chan.

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