Facebook Is a Great Place to Find a Kidney

One study finds one in eight Facebook pleas successful

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted May 24, 2012 8:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – People are increasingly turning to social media to search for kidney donors—and it turns out Facebook is actually a pretty great place to find one. In a study of almost 100 Facebook pages set up for the purpose, researchers found that nearly one-third had potential donors step forward to check if they were compatible, and one in eight actually snagged a donor. One site, appealing for a kidney for a young child, actually encouraged more than 600 potential donors to be tested, the Daily Mail reports.

The pages were set up by the patients in 37% of cases, by their children in 31% of cases, and by other family members or friends in 32% of cases. But some scientists are concerned that such appeals rarely warn about the downsides of organ donation—just 5% of pages mentioned medical risks, and only 11% mentioned costs to the donor. (If the risks don't concern you, click for one donor's account of why you should donate your kidney.)

Ricky Cisco, 25, right, donated one of his kidneys to Jeff Kurze, center, (his wife Roxy is at left), after reading about their plight on Facebook.
Ricky Cisco, 25, right, donated one of his kidneys to Jeff Kurze, center, (his wife Roxy is at left), after reading about their plight on Facebook.   (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Clarence Tabb, Jr.)
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