New Status on Facebook Profile May Save Lives

Published: May. 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM EDT
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Now you can declare your organ donor status on your Facebook profile.

Some experts think this may become a new social trend that could save millions of lives.

That is because seeing your friends as organ donors on the social media site may make you want to become one too.

Chris Grapes was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease 10-years ago that destroyed his liver, but an organ donation saved his life.

He said as an organ recipient, he hopes the Facebook trend catches on to help other people like him.

"It never goes through your mind that you're gonna die,” said Grapes. “You know you kinda have it in the back of your head but you never think it's gonna happen to me."

Grapes said he was close to death when he needed a liver transplant but his doctor said he got one just in time.

"He said if I didn't get the transplant within a week, I would've been dead."

Grapes waited six months for his new liver.

"You have to be on Death's door before they put you on the list."

Now Facebook is making that process easier by allowing users to post their organ donor status on their profiles.

Communications Professor Brian Kaylor said it is a great way to spread the word on a good cause.

"I think we'll see people start to notice, 'Oh look at all my friends. They're organ donors. Maybe I should look into that.' So I do think we'll see an increase in organ donors," said Kaylor.

That increase would make it easier for people in need like Grapes. He said it is not easy to find a match.

"It's not just I can get a liver even with the right blood type,” said Grapes. “They have to be the approximate same size as me, same weight. You know, there's a lot other things that go into it that I didn't realize until I was waiting."

Waiting for someone who could help save his life.

"You know if one person can become a donor right now that's not, you know, it's so worth it."

To see a demonstration on how to change your organ donor status on your Facebook page, watch the video included at the top of this story.