Woman finds kidney donor through Facebook, gets transplant
Doctors told the 21-year-old woman earlier this year that she would need a kidney transplant immediately. Unfortunately, her rare blood type meant she would have likely waited at least three more years for the organ.
Facing renal failure, Craig allowed her cousin to make a heartfelt plea on Facebook.
"I wasn't expecting anyone to say, oh yeah, sure, let's donate," she told FOX News in Tampa Bay.
Yet, one week after the message was posted Hannah got a message from her cousin's friend Hillary Glanzer. The two had met as children, but weren't in contact at the time.
Glanzer, 28, was tested immediately and found to be a perfect donor match for Craig. She volunteered to give up one kidney and is now recovering from the transplant procedure.
"I just broke down crying -- a good cry because it was such a relief," Craig said. "It's an amazing gift to give someone, it's just wonderful. Thank you Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for having that social network around to inspire transplants and stories."
Kidney recipient Hannah Craig recovers from transplant surgery in this photo shown on FOX 13 Tampa. (FOX 13 Tampa Bay)
Craig's story is far from unique. Dozens of organ recipients have spoken out about finding donors through social media in recent years.
A Minneapolis man made headlines in April 2011 after he found a kidney donor through Twitter, and later that year, a woman in Miami received 800 responses to a Craigslist post explaining her need for a new kidney. In that case, a 23-year-old stranger gave up one kidney to save the woman's life.
For many, finding an organ on Facebook has been life-saving.
In October 2011, researchers from Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago examined nearly 100 Facebook pages set up to find living kidney donors.
One in eight of the potential recipients reported receiving a kidney transplant, while 30 per cent said at least one potential donor had stepped forward to be tested for compatibility.
The organ donation community is so active on Facebook, in fact, that it may have helped inspire the company's official organ donation initiative announced by Mark Zuckerberg in May.
The program allows users in several countries to post their organ donation status, encouraging them to sign up with their local registries.
More than 100,000 Facebook members posted organ donation statuses in the program's first week alone.
If you saw an acquaintance or stranger looking for a new kidney on Facebook, would you consider donating? If you need a kidney yourself, would you seek it out online?
Let us know your thoughts below.
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