PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - It was hailed as a 'major' announcement from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The social media giant is giving its users the option of enrolling online as organ donors. It is, perhaps, a bold move in the world of organ transplants. But it is territory that a Palm Beach County woman knows very well. Facebook made the announcement Tuesday in an attempt to change the way organ donors and recipients find one another.
It is not a new concept for Selina Hodge, 29, as Facebook calls on more people to donate their organs. "You have to go out there and do what you've got to do because no one is going to do it for you," said Hodge who was dealing with kidney failure and, in turn, years of dialysis. She posted an advertisement on Craigslist in 2011. It was a last-ditch effort to find a donor. "You don't have to just sit and wait on the organ donor list because there are a whole lot of other options you can be doing," she said.
Stephanie Grant , a stranger, stepped up and a successful kidney transplant took place in December. Grant, who now lives in Illinois, says Facebook's new initiative is a possible life saving tool. "It's kind of an accomplishment," said Grant. "You get to put it on your Facebook account and say 'Yes, I am an organ donor and I'm proud of it."
For years, a donor's status only appeared on your driver's license. Now, in just a few clicks of a computer mouse, organ donors can add that information to their Facebook Timelines. For interested non-donors, a link appears on the website leading to more information about becoming a donor. Facebook is offering the organ donor feature to all users in the United States and United Kingdom.
Grant and Hodge, meanwhile, not only went under the knife together. Both recently got similar tattoos on their right shoulders. One of them is inked as 'kidney donor'; the other 'kidney recipient'. "I'm really hoping it gets a lot of attention from this and makes people's lives easier," said Hodge.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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