Detroit Minister on the transplant waiting list encourages people to become donors

Minister in need of liver says we need more donors

DETROIT, Mich (WXYZ) - He is rarely out in public crowds now, but when he is New Prospect Missionary Baptist Church Administration Minister Ronald Copeland has on what looks like a surgical mask.

"My immune system is very weak, so if I catch a virus or pneumonia or something I may not be a candidate anymore."

It has been at least 6 months since Copeland got behind the pulpit. 

He watches services live stream from home, but if you watch him without the mask, it's hard to tell his liver is failing.

"I got Hepatitis C about 30 years ago from a tattoo in the neighborhood, everyone was using the same needle."

Now, Copeland's liver is so bad he has already been through one cancerous lesion and his Doctors have found another one.

"I don't know how anyone can make it with out faith because this is a faithful journey."

The master plumber by trade, who helped construct New Prospect's new building, has taught Ministers, Deacons, and Sunday school.

Now he is counting on Devine order while he maintains his place on the transplant list.

"Reverend C opeland is a reminder of why this message is so important,  he gives so much and now finds himself in a place where he needs" says Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program Director Remonia Chapman.

Chapman was setting up for the organizations kick off breakfast at Marygrove College.

She has known Minister Copeland for years and says minority participation is vital.

"Fifty percent of those in need are ethnic minority, more donors could help decrease that."

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