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Al B. Sure is visiting the politicians on Capitol Hill with the Reverend Al Sharpton to advocate for organ donor recipients and a new wellness plan for communities of color.

On Tuesday (Dec. 5), the renowned R&B star Al B. Sure arrived at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers to push for more coverage through Medicare to prevent coverage cutbacks and provide blood testing that can detect rejection of an organ transplant in a new body. Born Albert Joseph Brown III, Al B. Sure is also the executive chairman of the Health Equity in Transplantation Coalition (HETC).

Al B. Sure, also known as Albert Joseph Brown, came to lead the coalition due to his own experience as an organ donor recipient last October. The singer fell ill during a recording session in Houston, Texas, and wound up in a coma lasting three months. “They were going to send me to hospice,” he said of the experience to the New York Daily News. “It was a fatal situation. There was no way out of it.”

Further testing by doctors determined it was his liver, and he got the lifesaving transplant. But he still undergoes blood tests to ensure his body continues to accept the organ. Those tests, while costing less than dialysis treatments, aren’t covered by Medicare after a decision made in March by a private Medicare administrator, citing improper billing. According to the HETC, Black and Latino patients make up 40% of those who are organ transplant recipients and half of the 100,000 on the transplant waiting list.

Al B. Sure joined the coalition after sharing his road to recovery through social media last year. “We’re trying to provide something specifically to the culture … equity and testing,” the Mount Vernon, New York, native said. Sure enlisted the help of Reverend Al Sharpton to work with the committee. “Black, Hispanic, Latino, and underserved communities were given a lifeline with these non-invasive tests,” the civil rights activist said in a statement. “It’s time we reverse this decision and allow transplant recipients access to more and better tools – not less.”

The cause has also attracted an unexpected ally – former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Al B. Sure is expected to meet with members of the Congressional Black Caucus Wednesday (Dec. 6), to gain further support. “I can write love songs all day and have No.1 hit records,” Sure said. “But this is the real work.”

Al B. Sure Visits Capitol Hill To Advocate For Organ Donors  was originally published on hiphopwired.com

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