Using YouTube, Facebook to Promote Organ Donation

In my last post, I told about Bob Aronson’s dedication to spread the word about organ donation through social media, after having had a heart transplant in August.

One of the things Bob’s done is start a Facebook group, where he’s inviting everyone affected by transplant to tell their stories. So whether you’re

  • a transplant recipient or caregiver
  • a living donor (e.g. kidney, liver, bone marrow)
  • a family member of someone who made the decision to donate and helped as many as 60 other people
  • a friend of any of the above, or
  • someone who has indicated a desire to be a donor via your driver’s license

I hope (and so does Bob) you will join this group and participate, and help promote it to your friends. Besides encouraging people to think about donation, he hopes it can bring support and encouragement to everyone involved in organ and tissue transplantation as people share their stories.

Some may write on the Wall, others may upload photos or engage in the discussion board, and still others may want to upload videos directly into the Facebook group, as Bob did. He also started a blog, Bob’s NewHeart, to help spread the word about the Facebook support group beyond the Facebook “walled garden.” And besides uploading his video to Facebook, Bob put it on YouTube, too. Check it out!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exk8lSHI3Dw]

Through my previous post I also met Scott Meis, who has been using social media, particularly Facebook, on behalf of Donate Life Illinois. He also maintains a blog for the campaign, which has a goal of signing up 3.5 million Illinois residents for the state’s donor consent registry by next April. It’s got some great transplant-related stories.

Part of the power (and fun) of social media, that I could have an interesting conversation today with someone I hadn’t met as of yesterday. And we’re Facebook friends now, to boot!

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Author: Lee Aase

Married father of six and grandfather of nine, and the Chancellor of SMUG - Social Media University, Global. By day I'm the Director of the Mayo Clinic Social Media Network. Whatever I say here is my personal opinion, and doesn't reflect the positions of my employer.

1 thought on “Using YouTube, Facebook to Promote Organ Donation”

  1. Over half of the 98,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

    There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage — give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

    Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren’t willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

    Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at http://www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.
    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Check out LifeSharers on Facebook:
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6720003086

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