Kidney Donors Reach Out on Facebook


Facebook is also a place to cry for help, particularly for those who are in need of kidney donors.

Damon Brown from Seattle is only one of fortunate individuals who found a kidney on Facebook. He told his story on a special page he created under the name, "Damon Kidney," AP reports.

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Fortunately, Damon's friends and family forwarded his link to everyone they knew - until an acquaintance of his wife responded.

The family was surprised over the kind gesture of someone they had known for years, but had not been very close to.

"She said it wasn't really for me. It was for my kids, because they deserve to have a dad around," Brown, 38, told AP.

Damon was on the official transplant list and had started mobile dialysis through Northwest Kidney Centers but as he was seeing his health deteriorate, he and his wife decided it was time to make a public plea for help on Facebook via 'Damon Kidney.'

The page eventually drew over 1400 friends.

Just a few weeks ago, after his transplant was approved and scheduled, Brown posted the good news to his Facebook friends, over 300 of whom responded positively to the good news.

Damon's kidney donor, Jacqueline Ryall, 45, told AP her mother does not understand why she would give a kidney to someone other than her own brother and sister, and her family is worried about her health going forward.

However, Ryall did her own research and figured it is relatively safe for a woman in good health to donate a kidney.

She said her decision to share a kidney is an act of gratitude for all the good things she has in her life.

April Paschke, a spokeswoman for the United Network for Organ Sharing, a private non-profit organisation that manages the nation's organ transplant system for the federal government, told AP the agency has been seeing an increase in the number of kidney requests being posted to Facebook and other social media sites.

"It's an extension of the way we communicate. Before we found the internet, people found other ways: through a church bulletin, word of mouth or an advertisement even,'' Ms. Pasche noted.

AP further reports in 2011 alone, a man in Michigan also found a kidney donor through Facebook, and a Florida woman found one through Craigslist, a popular website for posting free advertisements.

An average of 46 kidney transplants take place each day in the United States while another 13 people who have been waiting for a kidney die each day. About 90,000 are on the transplant list right now, AP reports.

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