Facebook Urges Organ Donations

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We use it every day to post pictures, update our status and keep in touch with family and friends. Now, Facebook is bringing awareness to a whole new subject.

Instead of just browsing through pictures and updating your status on Facebook, you have a chance to save a life, with a click of the mouse.

“This announcement by Facebook is huge. As you know, Facebook has so much power,” said Hadie Bartholomew, Manager, Public Affairs for Lifebanc.

Facebook announced on Tuesday, a plan to encourage everyone on the social media website to start advertising their donor status on their pages.

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"We need more people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors because that ultimately will save lives," Bartholomew said.

Under the Facebook plan, members will be able to update their organ donation status. There will also be be a feature that links members to state online donor registries.

"Any way that we can get more education out there and help people understand the needs and benefits of organ, eye and tissue donations and transplants, the better off we will be," said Bartholomew.

Currently, there are 115,000 people nationwide waiting for an organ donation. By tomorrow, 18 of those individuals will die.

"Our hope is that this is going to increase the number of people who are registering their decision," Bartholomew said.

It's not only good news for advocates of organ donation, but it's great news for those who are waiting for an organ transplant and those grateful recipients like Dr. Artz.

"This is wonderful, any way possibly, especially with the new technology to get the word out that we need organs because there are so many people who are in need of them," said J. Sheldon Artz.

Dr. Artz is a heart transplant recipient. He knows all too well how tough waiting can be.

"Now, if we can get the word out to more people perhaps that waiting time won't be as long and won't be as severe," Artz said.

Dr. Artz believes Facebook is a great way to share your true intentions about organ donation and perhaps force others to think about their intentions.

"If you wish to be an organ donor, tell your friends, tell your family so they know and there will never be any surprises," said Artz.

The organ donation setup on Facebook is already a big hit for anybody who is living a second life.

Shelly Collier writes on the FOX 8 Facebook page, "Why not allow others to live on in your honor? I think it's amazing."

Andrew Davis added, "I want to thank everyone that is an organ donor. You are really giving people another chance at life."

Facebook creator, Mark Zuckerberg said he got the idea through dinner conversations with his med-student girlfriend and his friendship with Apple Founder Steve Jobs, who had a liver transplant.

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