Facebook to allow users to share organ donor status
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CONCORD -- The world's largest social media site is putting its powers behind a life-saving cause.
Facebook launched a new feature Tuesday allowing users to share the fact that they're an organ donor and encourage others to register.
It's a cause that hits close to home for founder and CEO Mark Zuckerburg. His girlfriend is studying to be a pediatrician.
"She'll see them getting sicker and then all of a sudden an organ becomes available and she comes home and her face is all lit up because someone's life is going to be better because of this," he said during an exclusive interview with Good Morning America.
According to LifeShare of the Carolinas, more than 113,000 people are currently waiting an organ transplant in the United States; nearly 4,000 in North Carolina. An estimated 18 die every day waiting on the list.
With nearly half the country on Facebook, Zuckerburg said he hoped this initiative will raise awareness and the number of registered donors.
"Even if this doesn't touch everyone, I hope it can make a real impact," he said.
Nita Patel, 37, of Charlotte, said she believed it could. Eight years ago, she was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney disease and needed a transplant. She spent three years on dialysis waiting, until the day she got the call.
"Every emotion that you could possibly think of happens,” she said, wiping tears from her face. “Whether it's tears, fears, sadness, happiness, every emotion that I could possibly think of, flooded my body."