Al B. Sure goes to Capitol Hill to advocate for cause personal to him
The new jack swing singer told theGrio that he is meeting with federal lawmakers to fight for organ donation transplant recipients with a “back to wellness” initiative.
Singer Al B. Sure is on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and Wednesday to bring attention to a cause that has become very personal for him: organ transplantation.
The new jack swing singer told theGrio that he is meeting with federal lawmakers as a new leader fighting for organ donation transplant recipients with a “back to wellness” initiative.
The 55-year-old musician, who is personally an organ donor recipient, is currently the executive chairman of the Health Equity in Transplantation Coalition (HETC). Sure is lobbying support for funding through Medicare for blood testing to detect transplant rejection.
According to HETC, 40% of organ transplant recipients in this nation are Black, Hispanic, or Latino.
“We’re trying to provide something specifically to the culture … equity and testing,” said Sure. The Mount Vernon, New York native, whose real name is Albert Joseph Brown III, underwent his organ transplant in 2022.
The 1980s and 90s crooner is calling on members of Congress to “oppose Medicare cutbacks for transplant patients.” He is also demanding blood testing coverage to detect early signs of organ rejections that disproportionately impact minorities and underserved communities. While blood tests, which he described as a lifesaver, cost much less than dialysis, they are not covered for Medicare patients.
In his voice filled with passion, Sure lamented, “I will not stop until I get this done.” It has been quite a journey since “waking from a coma and then [receiving] a transplant,” he shared.
Sure publicly shared his medical journey on social media with graphic images and videos while recovering in intensive care last year. He said his mission to advocate for donor transplant recipients is one that crosses all lines beyond race, religion, and other demographics. He is slated to meet with several congressional leaders, including Reps. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Danny Davis, D-Ill., and Barbara Lee, D-Calif., while on the Hill in the next few days.
Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network, was requested by Sure to be a part of the new health equity coalition. The singer-songwriter turned advocate hopes the civil rights leader’s high-profile presence will bring needed attention to this very critical issue.
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