Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Facebook Leads to Kidney Donation

Facebook Leads to Kidney DonationFacebook is one of the most popular websites in the world, and lots of people use it to keep up with local and national politicians. Whether you're looking for news about your state or news about a campaign, one thing you probably never expect is a body part, more specifically a kidney, but that's just what Carlos Sanchez of East Haven, Connecticut got from the town's mayor. And he got it through Facebook.

35 year old April Capone Almon, the mayor of East Haven, did not have to think twice about helping her 44 year old constituent with his medical problems. In an interview with AOL Noticias, Almon said she knew she'd be the right person to donate to Sanchez, who was preparing to go dialysis, due to his failing kidneys. Sanchez posted a desperate message to his Facebook page because he was unable to find a suitable donor. He wasn't totally comfortable with the idea, but his doctor told him the need was urgent.

Capone told AOL she considered Sanchez an acquaintance, but didn't really know him. She only knew of his need for a kidney through Facebook. She says she knew instantly that she wanted to donate and her family was concerned, yet supportive. Sanchez didn't believe her at first, but he finally gave her the number for the Yale Transplant Team.

Capone says she prefers to meet people in person but does use Facebook to help when she can. When she signed up for an account, she probably never realized she'd be helping in this capacity. She and Sanchez have become very close and she says she talks to him every day. Sanchez calls Capone his "little sister."

Both Capone and Sanchez had their surgeries in early April and both are expected to make a full recovery. Capone is already back at work and is eager to open other people's minds to live organ donation. Capone told AOL,

"There was one close friend who said 'If you were my daughter I would try to talk you out of this!' I replied 'But what if your daughter was the one that needed the kidney?' That really changed his perspective."

Read more about Capone and Sanchez's story here: Mayor donates kidney to save constituent, a Facebook friend.

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