Note from Beth: Two years ago on this blog, Porter Gale published a guest post asking “Can Social Media Save Lives?” and described how Amit Gupta was leveraging his network and social media to find a bone marrow match. This story became a case study in “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit,” to illustrate the value of crowdsourcing and how to measure the return.
Taryn Degnan picks up on this them of using social media to save lives to share her observations about the use of social media to find organ donors and her own personal story.
Social Media is Saving Lives. How’s That for ROI? by Taryn Degnan
- Pasadena mom uses social media to find organ donor for daughter.
- Kwirti Dwivedi finds a kidney for ailing mom via social media.
- Facebook Organ Donor Initiative Prompts 100,000 Users To Select New Option.
Friends, those news headlines are real, and it means that something wild and crazy is happening online. Perfect strangers are connecting through social media to give and receive life every day.
Like many of you, I get paid to use social media to effect change – to create and engage an online community and mobilize people to take action around a cause. But these days, I’m working overtime to use social media for much more than community engagement and content marketing.
My dad is in end stage renal failure and needs a kidney transplant. It’s been two years since he was placed on dialysis, and though this remarkable treatment is doing its job to remove excess toxins and water from his blood, the complications, surgeries and dozens of hospital visits that have accompanied it are becoming too much for him to handle. Dialysis is an imperfect treatment to replace kidney function, so we’re fighting vigilantly to find my dad a match online while he remains on the transplant list.
Most of you don’t know my dad. He’s an amazing man, father, husband, and doctor who has brought over 5,000 little babies into our world in his career thus far. He is adored by his patients, his friends, and his family.
I believe that the hours I pour into social media are going to mean something for my dad one day. So, will you be a part of it all?
Here’s how you can help:
My sisters and I have created a page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/findjeffakidney) to help spread the word. I’d be honored if you’d like it, share it, and stay informed.
Want to learn more about organ donation? Visit the National Kidney Foundation (http://www.kidney.org/transplantation/) online.
Ready to find out if you’re a match? Contact (firstname.lastname@example.org) my dad’s donation coordinator. She can answer any questions you might have.
Still not convinced your efforts can help? Read this inspiring story (http://boston.cbslocal.com/2013/03/25/north-reading-man-finds-kidney-transplant-match-online/). Thank you in advance for your help, and for being part of this community of big hearts! And let me know if you have any questions for me; I’ll answer them below!
Taryn Degnan is the Manager of Social Media and Online Community at Common Sense Media. She lives in San Francisco with her husband who spends way less time with social media than she does. Contact Taryn or follow her on Twitter.