The White House is working to whittle down the 120,000-deep organ transplant waiting list
This morning the White House unveiled a massive new push to get transplant patients the organs they so desperately need.
The Obama Administration—along with a host of private companies, foundations, universities, hospitals and patient advocacy organizations—has committed hundreds of millions of dollars for research related to bioengineered and bioartificial alternatives to organ transplants, the creation of a new Advanced Tissue Biofabrication Manufacturing Innovation Institute through the Department of Defense, and various competitions meant to spur innovation through grants and monetary prizes. The entire initiative is meant bring together dozens of organizations working in the transplant sector to ensure that patients are getting the organs and treatments they need as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But when it comes to transplants, there’s really one key resource that stands out above any other: the donors. According to the White House, 95 percent of Americans support organ donation, but only 50 percent of that group are actually registered donors, which means a big part of this campaign has to be about raising awareness. The DoD is great and all, but it can’t just use a $160 million check to issue organs on demand to the 121,000 waiting for a transplant in the United States.
So the group Organize is trying to harness the power of social media to close the massive gap between people who support donating and people are actually signed up to do it. If you use the hashtag #OrganDonor, that “social declaration” will now be stored in a national database that can be searched by any organ procurement organization in any state. The way it is now, registering to be an organ donor is done on a state-by-state basis. So if you move somewhere else, sometimes those registrations don’t go to your new home with you. But if you declare your #OrganDonor status on social media you’ll be logged in a system, and therefore searchable for those who might need your spare parts.
In order for your registration to be legally binding you still have to fill out a form the old fashioned way, but Organize has also developed a free online platform so you don’t have to put yourself through DMV hell to save lives. The hope is that if people can create a critical mass of awareness by using the #OrganDonor hashtag, states will be pressured to use the Organize national database when searching for possible donors. Let video above (made in conjuction with GOOD Brand Studio) walk you through the extremely simple process of putting yourself on the registered donor radar.
So why not send a tweet to save a life? That’s the kind of convenience we’ve come to expect in 2016.