A 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!
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.
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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