Celebrating Black History Month

February 1, 2024

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Jackie Robinson

Tennessee Donor Services celebrates Black History Month by sharing the personal stories of recipients, and donation champions and highlighting the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Black Americans make up approximately 12.2 percent of the population, and 28% of the national organ transplant waiting list. Black Americans make up the largest group of minorities in need of an organ transplant. More than 31,000 Black Americans are waiting for a lifesaving transplant.

After struggling with an organ disease, Dee was told she needed a heart transplant to survive. She had only a month to live.

Thanks to the selflessness of a 23-year-old donor hero, Dee received her lifesaving transplant and the opportunity for a long and healthy life.

Darrell was first diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 1995 and needed a lifesaving kidney transplant to survive.

Thanks to the selflessness of his donor hero, Adam, Darrell received his second chance at life and a new relationship with his donor’s family.

A double lung transplant was Lynn’s only chance at survival.

In her time of need, a donor hero gave her the gift of life.

After being diagnosed with a rare heart disease, Melvin’s only hope was to receive a lifesaving heart transplant.

His donor hero, Kevin, selflessly gave Melvin the heart he desperately needed to survive, allowing him to continue spreading messages of love and generosity as a faith minister.

In 2018, Jonathan received the gift of a lifesaving heart transplant. 

Thanks to his donor’s selfless decision to #BeTheGift, Jonathan has seen his three children succeed in their careers and has experienced the addition of two new grandchildren to his life.

A donor hero selflessly gave Willie Mae Hubbard, MD, a second chance to live life on her own terms. 

Since her lifesaving liver transplant, Dr. Hubbard has had the opportunity to watch her son get married and to welcome three grandchildren into the world.

Growing up, Victor Hill was an exceptional student and talented musician, playing the saxophone and drums in church and school. He later studied political science at Vanderbilt University. 

In December 2017, Victor became a donor hero, saving four lives by donating his heart, liver and kidneys to those in need. 

Detrick Witherspoon captured the hearts of his loved ones with his outstanding ability to make people laugh, turning any situation around with just one of his jokes. He was deeply committed to his faith and his six children.

He gave the ultimate gift, the gift of life, through his selfless decision of registering to be a donor.

After years of being on dialysis and waiting for a kidney, Evelyn Henning received the lifesaving call that she was matched for a new kidney last Easter! 

Thanks to her donor hero, Evelyn is living a life unburdened by dialysis and is spending more quality time with her two sons and their families.

About Tennessee Donor Services

An Extraordinary Commitment to Science, Health, and Hope

Tennessee Donor Services a non-profit, organ procurement organization (OPO) dedicated to saving and improving lives by connecting organ and tissue donations to the patients who need them. TDS serves nearly five and a half million people in Tennessee and Virginia.

#BeTheGift that saves lives!

When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, you leave a lasting legacy and bring hope to those waiting.

To access the National Registry, click here.