with author Jackie Morgan MacDougall
facebook saves lives?
Is there nothing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can't pull off this month? In addition to taking his company public and pulling off a secret wedding to longtime girlfriend Priscilla Chan, the billionaire has created a huge bump in organ donor registration. In fact, on the very first day that Facebook announced the new organ donor initiative, 6,000 people had enrolled through 22 state registries, according to Donate Life America, which sees around 400 donor registrations on any given day. On the same day, another 100,000 people posted their organ-intentions on their Facebook timeline, sharing when and where they made that decision.
Zuckerberg credits his new wife, who just last week graduated from medical school, for opening his heart and mind to the possibilities of making a huge difference using Facebook. "She’s in medical school now,” Zuckerberg told ABC News just days before Chans graduation and their secret wedding. “She’s going to be a pediatrician, so our dinner conversations are often about Facebook and the kids that she’s meeting.”
Some surprising statistics, according to the Donate Life America website:
• More than 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants
• Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
• An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
• In 2011, there were 8,127 deceased organ donors and 6,017 living organ donors resulting in 28,535 organ transplants.
• Last year, more than 42,000 grafts were made available for transplant by eye banks within the United States.
• According to research, 98% of all adults have heard about organ donation and 86% have heard of tissue donation.
•90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
No one likes to think about death and dying, so we push the thought away and avoid taking action with something so important as organ donation -- sometimes, until it's too late. But that was not the case with Kristen, a 30-year-old paramedic killed in a car crash last summer. Kristen was passionate about helping others and saving lives, traveling to New Orleans and other areas of the U.S. torn apart by natural disaster. But her commitment to enriching others' lives has carried on in her death, because she had taken the time to register as an organ donor.
Months after Kristen's death, her mother, Maureen, received word from the donor bank, which she shares in a letter to her late daughter.
My dearest Kristen, I received a letter today from the New England Donor Bank. The gift of bone can hasten recovery of patients with injuries due to trauma or bone disease, nineteen gifts of bone were prepared from your beautiful bones. Of those, thirteen were released to hospitals for surgeries, enabling procedures such as reconstructive surgery, spinal fusions, and sports injury repairs. These tremendously improved the lives of the recipients, allowing them mobility and relieving debilitating pain. I hope you know how very proud I am of all you did while here on earth and continuing even in your passing. I was blessed to have you for 30 short years. I know that now.
I love you my sweet daughter...until I see you again.