Friday, June 04, 2010

Facebook used to find kidney donor and raise funds for transplant

We are gradually starting to see people using social networking sites to seek living organ donors and to fund raise for their transplant costs. I think this is just the beginning of a trend as more patients try to find ways to get their life-saving transplant.

Facebook Plea Yields Old Friend, Kidney Donor

Reported by Neda Iranpour
CBS13 - Sacremento Area Local News

A Citrus Heights man in need of a new kidney turned to the popular social networking site Facebook to ask for help, and managed to connect with an old friend who happened to be a perfect match.

Eli Powell, a father of two boys, learned he has Berger's disease three years ago, which would eventually eat away his kidneys with toxins. For three hours, three times a week, Eli goes through dialysis to help clean his blood.

"It's been rough, it's been hard, but I'm making it okay," Eli said.

With a new kidney, Eli could live a more normal life, so he put a call out on Facebook, "saying I need help, I need a kidney transplant," he said.

His plea caught the attention and compassion of a long-lost friend who he hadn't heard from in a decade. Paul Jones responded to the advertisement and ended up being a match for the friend he met in the eighth grade at E.V. Cain Middle School in Auburn.

"Figured he's young, has a family, and I'd want someone to do that for me if I was in his position," Paul said. "If we can both be healthy and survive, live long happy lives, I don't see how I couldn't do it."

The transplant will happen this August. Paul will have a few noticeable scars and about two months of pain and recovery.

"It's awesome. It's nice to know people out there who are willing to help like that," Eli said. "It's gonna be a life changing experience for both of us, he literally is going to be part of me for the rest of my life."

Eli is also using Facebook to raise funds for the transplant.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help 75 to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You

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