Kidney patient turns to Facebook for donor
Leona Godin is struggling to find a suitable organ donor because of her rare blood type
A kidney patient from Kelowna, B.C., is using social media to find a suitable transplant donor.
Leona Godin, 42, says she has been on dialysis for eight years after losing her kidneys to diabetes. She is in need of a transplant, but is struggling to find a suitable donor for her blood type.
"I'm looking for a B+ or O kidney. It's been harder for me to find a kidney due to my rare blood type," Godin told CBC News.
In November, she turned to Facebook in hopes of finding the right match. Since then, she has received dozens of responses from family, friends and complete strangers — some of whom are encouraging her to stay positive and others that are pledging to get tested.
"I finally feel optimistic. I'm finally feeling, you know, that maybe this will happen," she said.
Social media transplants successful
Last year, doctors in B.C. performed a record 127 kidney transplants from living donors.
Patty John with B.C. Transplant says at least two people have had successful surgeries after finding donors on Facebook.
"If you can reach out through your own social connections, I think that's a good thing. You never know who might come forward, who might have been touched by kidney disease in some way and is willing to step forward to be tested," said John.
While she waits, Godin says she is trying to live life to the fullest.
"I walk and exercise every day to try and stay as healthy as I can for transplant," she writes on her Facebook page.
Anyone interested in becoming an organ donor should call the B.C. Transplant Society.
With files from CBC's Brady Strachan