Facebook Gives Back

By Matt Porter

May 2, 2012 Updated May 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Facebook announces it's using its million member resource to help give the gift of life by letting users share their organ donor status and helping new donors register

The Center for Donation and Transplant says the program is already working.

In New York, the state usually registers about 17 new donors a day, according to the center. Since yesterday, the state has registered over 750 new donors.

That news brings a smile to people like Liz Devivo of Vestal. She received a three-organ transplant, a heart and two lungs, about ten years ago.

Before the transplant, Doctor said her the auto-immune disease attacking her organs gave her three years to live, at best.

"I couldn't climb a flight of steps," said Devivo, "I couldn't walk 10 feet without turning blue. I was very very sick."

But, she also very very lucky, receiving three organ transplants that saved her life.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for a transplant in the US, 10,000 are right here in New York.

But because of a shortage in organs, about 18 die each day waiting for a new organ.

"That is a huge need across then United States, across New York state," said Mike Garlough, who works for the Center for Donation and Transplant helping patients in the region find donors.

"We need people to sign up for the registry."

But now patients have a new ally, Facebook.

The social media site is allowing users to tell people they are an organ donor on their timelines.

And for people interested, a connection with their state donor registries is just a few clicks away.

"They're gonna talk to their friends, and they'll come up with a decision whether they want to be a donor themselves," said Garlough.

People we asked at the Binghamton University campus, agreed.

"If you see all your friends are donating organs, than you're more likely to think about it and say maybe I should do this too," said Anca Dogaroiu of New York City.

"It's a simpler way for people to save lives," said Douglas Satterfieod of the Town of Dickinson.

Donate Life, the non profit partner with Facebook, says one donor has the ability to save up to 50 lives.

Like DeVivo's, who says the transplant allowed her to see her oldest daughter graduate this year.

"Those are all things I thought I'd never see," said DeVivo. "I'm very blessed to have gotten this far, and my plan is to keep crossing them off the list."

A saved life that's one organ, or even one click, away.

A note: sharing your organ donor status on Facebook does not imply any official consent. You must register within your state to be eligible.

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