Sylvia Mathews Burwell (22nd Secretary of Health & Human Services) took to Twitter to announce, "Big news. This Administration is taking new actions to decrease the organ waiting list." Of the approximately 120,000 individuals in the United States who are listed for an organ, over 100,000 of the patients in need are awaiting a kidney transplant. A new person is added to the list every 10 minutes, and 22 die while waiting each day. Staggeringly, in a recent year, 4,761 patients died while waiting for a kidney transplant. However, this may radically change if the White House proposal to “re-imagine the donor registration system by increasing registrations and life-saving transplants," is successful. They anticipate starting with 1,000 additional transplants per year.
For years now, KidneyBuzz.com has been working with viewers such as you to raise awareness of the need for more kidney transplants. We along with other large groups in the Chronic Kidney Disease Community have petitioned Congressmen/Congresswomen, Government Organizations, and the White House directly to improve access to kidney transplants for patients and cut the waiting list time. Now our collective efforts have paid off. Kidney donation and reducing kidney transplant waiting times has captured the attention of the highest level of government - The White House.
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Already, seven government agencies are to invest $3 million over a three-year period in bioengineering to advance understanding of wound repair, as well as methods for the regeneration and preservation of organs and tissue, suggested RT.com. Also, Johns Hopkins is currently collaborating with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease to further explore HIV-positive organ transplants, which the White House thinks could lead to as many as 1,000 more transplants per year. Surgeons are well on their way and have completed the first-in-the-US HIV-positive to HIV-positive kidney and liver transplant. Along the same lines of cutting the waiting list, the Department of Defense has announced that it will spend $160 million in public-private investment, and the Pentagon is also handing out $7 million in grants.
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These are not simply theoretical exercises that will sit on a shelf. Thanks to experts and awareness efforts, The White House realizes that a transplant would increase the life expectancy of the recipient by 10 to 15 years. The Administration held an Organ Summit to identify ways to increase both deceased and living kidney (and other organs) donation, and has committed to investing in clinical research and innovation involving 20 institutions, including organ procurement groups, technology companies, universities, and medical centers. What's more, White House officials said they will provide an update on their initiatives in six months.
It is great news that The White House is now actively taking key steps to "help more Americans get off of the organ waiting list and into the operating room for a lifesaving transplant," said the Whitehouse.gov website. Are you excited? Show your support of these positive steps by signing the below petition, encouraging The White House to continue these critical efforts to cut the Kidney Transplant Waiting List time. Still, time is of the essence for most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients. Thus, as these promising developments take place, be sure to continue to share your story and need for a kidney transplant with others who may consider donation. If you need help in reaching a wider audience of potential altruistic (generous) living kidney donors, then click here and sign up for the Find A Kidney Donor Campaign.
Moreover, click here to leave a comment at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and share your thoughts of the Administration's Organ Summit as well as their subsequent actions. Follow the over 115,000+ monthly individual viewers who visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly for the latest daily news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and Hypertension how to better manage and improve their lives. Erica Ashley Jenkins (Dialysis Nurse) said, "Hello I just wanted to let you know I work in a dialysis clinic and over half of our clinic reads this page, we enjoy everything you put on and love to have new information. My patients are a very grateful."