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DETROIT—Connie Spight was pleased when her 17-year-old son, a popular athlete at a prestigious Detroit prep school, sided with her in a 2006 dinner table discussion about organ donation.

“He said, ‘You know what dad? I agree with mom. Why not do that to help someone else?'” Spight remembered. “We knew that he was in favor of it, but we didn’t think he would go before us.”

Her son, Brandon Spight, died early the next year from a rare brain defect. His lungs, kidneys, liver, intestine and heart valves helped save five others.

Now his parents, Connie and her husband, Virgil Spight, are trying to convince other blacks that they too should donate their organs.

Blacks account for nearly a third of the more than 113,000 people awaiting transplants, despite making up only 13 percent of the entire U.S. population, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

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