There is a desperate need for more people from ethnic minorities to sign the donor register.
Organ transplants are more likely to be successful if they are a close match.
But fewer than one per cent of people on the donor register are black and there are similar shortages in the Asian community.
It means more than one in four people die waiting for an organ. Asif Hasan, a surgeon at the Freeman Hospital, spoke to ITV News Tyne Tees:
Newcastle and Gateshead will host the 2015 British Transplant Games.
The competition will see hundreds of competitors who have had life-saving organ transplant surgery visit the region to take part in a wide range of sports.
As part of transplant week, we've filmed inside the Freeman hospital in Newcastle to see some of the patients waiting for an organ.Read the full story ›
Asif Hasan performed a heart transplant, on one-year-old Taliah Albano, last week. The surgeon, at Newcastle's Freeman hospital, says more donors are needed on the register to save lives.
Surgeon Asif Hasan is one of the doctors at Newcastle's Freeman hospital calling for the law, which prevents young babies from being organ donors, to be changed. At the moment parents aren't allowed to chose to give permission for babies under two months old to be organ donors if they died.
Families who donated their children's organs talk about their brave decisionRead the full story ›
Christine Webb talks about her family's decision to donate her daughter's organs after she died. Their decision saved the lives of five people.
Every year thousands of transplants are carried out, but a quarter of patients die because of a lack of donor organs.Read the full story ›
On Transplant Week 2014, health care organisations are encouraging people to consider organ donation. They say by donating your organs, after you die, you help save and transform the lives of desperately ill people.
Fewer than 5000 people die every year in the UK in circumstances where they can become a donor and in the UK, three people die every day from a lack of donor organs.
In the North East:
- One quarter of patients needing a transplant eventually die because of a lack of donor organs
- More than 30 people have died due to the shortage of organs in the last year
- There are currently more than 300 people in the North East waiting for a transplant
- There is a need for more people from Black and Asian communities to join. On average only a third of people from these communities give permission
- You can join the register and tell your family your wishes
- You can also become a donor when registering for a driving licence or at a GP surgery
Lynne Holt is transplant coordinator at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, she says everyone needs to have a conversation about whether they want to be a donor.