It’s crucial that we expand the number of living donor liver transplant recipients to improve outcomes for children who receive transplants. Consider this: 100 percent of living donor liver transplant recipients at Children’s are alive, based on our current calendar year survival statistics, compared with 85 percent of cadaver liver recipients.
Funded by the Carlos and Marguerite Mason Trust, Project LEAP seeks to:
- Ensure minority children have access to living donor liver transplantation, which offer excellent outcomes
- Improve awareness and understanding of living donor transplantation among Georgia’s minorities
- Identify obstacles to living donor liver transplantation and eliminate those obstacles
- Become the national resource for children’s living donor transplantation by gathering data about living donor candidates, recipients and transplantation outcomes, including measures of survival and quality of life
A focus on minority organ donations
A LifeLink Foundation study shows that 27 percent of Caucasians decide to donate organs after death, but only 10 percent of African-Americans are willing to do so. In the last four years, only one of 20 children who received a living donor liver transplant at Children’s was African-American. Yet, the number of children receiving deceased liver donations at the hospital was proportional to the state’s ethnic makeup. Roughly 29 percent of Georgia’s children are African-American, and of those receiving liver transplants at Children’s, 36 percent were African-American.
Project LEAP researchers expect to discover why minority children, though undergoing liver transplants at an appropriate proportion based on the state’s population, are under-represented in living donor transplantation.