Believe It or Not, Facebook Could Save Your Life

 

facebook like thumbsA little while back, a friend of mine was in need of a kidney donation, and just hearing about her waiting game was stressful in itself. I so admired her bravery through that whole process. As it turned out, her husband donated his to someone else, and in turn, she was able to take advantage of a kidney donation chain. It worked out so well for them, thank goodness! 

Now, there's even more good news about how Facebook may be helping others track down kidney donors. In a study of almost 100 Facebook pages set up for the purpose, researchers found that nearly one-third had potential donors step forward to check if they were compatible, and one in eight actually found a donor this way. Awesome!

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As it turns out, patients set up pages in about 37 percent of cases, their kids in 31 percent, and by other family members or friends in 32 percent of cases. I find it pretty cool that the numbers are so equally spread out. It shows people are really stepping up to the plate and using social media as a means to save either their own life or a loved one's.

More from The Stir: Man Hands Over Kidney to Facebook Stranger

The researchers did warn, however, that only 5 percent of these Facebook pages warn about the medical risks associated with organ donation. And while you would expect someone looking for a kidney donor to be forthcoming with that information, it's not like a potential donor couldn't Google that themselves. And it doesn't seem like its a big enough issue to trump the good being done here.

I'm loving this trend, because it really goes to show that social media doesn't have to be chock-filled with completely meaningless self-centered, "me me me," over-sharing egomaniacal drivel. It can also be an incredibly useful, life-saving tool. Not sure that's what Zuck initially had in mind when he first created Facebook, but the fact that it now fits that description is a testament to the power of his social network.

Would you ever donate your kidney to someone you connected with via Facebook?


Image via GOIABA/Flickr

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