Cleveland, OH - "Never count yourself out. Age has nothing to do with being an organ donor. MOTTEP's oldest donor is in their 90's. It's about your health, education, and alleviating misinformation. On average, we secure 1500 donors per year. We had information tables at University Hospitals. Due to COVID, we have struggled a bit. Our numbers are low. Last year recruited approximately 500 donors. We are below our mark; we are actively seeking organ donors," says Linda Kimble, Executive Director of Cleveland's MOTTEP.
A not-for-profit leader and professional, Kimble worked for the American Lung Association and Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital. She has been the Executive Director of Cleveland's MOTTEP for approximately 11 years. Kimble, a strong advocate of minority donors, says, "I am often amazed about the misinformation regarding organ donation and who can donate. When people donate an organ, they are helping to save someone's life. We help them and others find a match. Sometimes, it may be a family member or even a stranger. Our organization encourages everyone to consider becoming an organ donor," stated Kimble.
Cleveland MOTTEP (Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program) - was established in 1995 as a local affiliate of National MOTTEP, founded in 1991 by Dr. Clive Callender, a Howard University transplant surgeon. "Dr. Callendar gave a big pot of money to help start MOTTEP. He is 86 years old, and he remains active in this cause. The Cleveland Foundation and the St. Luke Foundation fund MOTTEP. We are a quiet entity and sometimes forgotten about, but our work in the community is important; we help save lives," says Kimble.
MOTTEP's website state that through health education and promotion, the Minority Organ & Tissue Transplant Education Program's mission is to increase the number of registered organs, eye, and tissue donors in the minority community throughout Greater Cleveland. The organization is affiliated with the Centers for Dialysis Care and is a 501 (C) (3) organization that delivers a culturally sensitive message emphasizing wellness, health, and disease prevention.
As the Executive Director, Kimble is responsible for program management, public, and community relations, education, fundraising, and recruitment of donors. Although MOTTEP is a staff of two, the work of volunteers is noticeable. "Our volunteers help with community outreach. They believe in our cause. They help with staffing health fairs, professional webinars, and daily outreach activities. Many are either organ recipients or family members of recipients and donors. We promote all transplants; most transplants are kidney transplants due to high blood pressure and diabetes," says Kimble.
Kimble tells us that one of her biggest obstacles continues to be misinformation. "Education is important. People are misinformed. Once individuals realize that this is about health and not age, we will be able to attract more donors, and we will be able to save more lives," stated Kimble.
Per their website, Cleveland MOTTEP is a program that promotes education and awareness in the Greater Cleveland Minority population about organ and tissue donation, transplantation, and disease prevention and wellness issues. MOTTEP of Cleveland uses a community-based approach, with ethnically similar messengers to dispel the myths and misconceptions that prevent minorities from participating in this life-giving and lifesaving procedure.
The Cleveland Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Program address is 2155 Stokes Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106. For more information regarding MOTTEP or how to become an organ donor, contact Ms. Kimble at (216) 658-0716.