Tag Archives: Facebook

The Wait: Life on the transplant list

As of last week, there were over 93,000 Americans awaiting kidney transplants. Richard Nixon, an accountant with a famous name and a faint Jamaican accent, is one of them. People with serious renal disease can live for years on dialysis, but as Nixon’s story illustrates, it’s an unpleasant and exhausting process.

Like many people on the waiting list, Nixon is hoping to find a living donor. He hasn’t found a match among his family or friends, so he’s using social media to recruit strangers willing to help. While he waits, Nixon is raising awareness of kidney disease and keeping himself healthy.

Here’s his story:

Update (6/6/2013): Nixon is continuing his online search for a suitable donor. He posted his story on Reddit earlier this month. You can see it here.

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Another way to ‘share’ yourself on Facebook

Almost a year ago, Facebook added a tool that allows users to register as organ donors and announce their status on their timelines. Founder Mark Zukerberg said the idea was inspired by conversations with his wife, who is a medical student, and Steve Jobs, who received a liver transplant a few years before his death.

I was curious to find out if anyone in my social networks had joined an organ donor registry because of Facebook.

The people who answered were donors, but hadn’t heard about the tool.

One of my Facebook friends — a longtime donor — added the badge after reading a post on my wall: 

From my Facebook page.

From my Facebook page.

Facebook’s addition of the tool led to spike in donor registrations last spring, but that number has dropped off in recent months

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