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If you need it, speak out. January 21, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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We have a dear friend who died because he needed a liver transplant and didn’t speak out. By contrast, we have another friend who got a kidney transplant and became a spokesperson for organ donation, making tons of contacts along the way, including doctors and a local journalist. Our friend even made a 200-mile kayak trip to raise awareness for organ donation, gaining publicity every inch of the way.

What this meant was that, when our friend’s new kidney failed, his journalist friend wrote an article about it in the paper. And another of his friends read it. And when her son died of a drug overdose, she insisted that our friend receive one of his kidneys, not even a month after he’d gone back on dialysis and before he had even made the donation list. Just this morning, we read a followup article about how he was back home and doing well.

We rejoice for our friend, but we also think there’s a lesson here. Today’s media environment is ideal for getting your message out, and if it’s urgent, for prompting a rapid response. We’ve read about people using Facebook and Twitter to get emergency help. Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo could be used to raise awareness for the need for a transplant or money for surgery or long-term care as well as for business startups. Doing something that attracts the attention of local media is also obviously a very smart move.

We wonder if our friend who needed the liver transplant would be alive and thriving today if he’d used social media to get his message out. If you’re in need, of anything from medicine or procedures you can’t afford to an organ transplant, please use every form of social media at your disposal to get your message out. And don’t forget human outreach and connection. It could mean the difference between life and death.

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