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Facebook's New Feature Could Save Lives

May 2, 2012, 5:17 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Facebook's New Feature Could Save Lives

More people are becoming organ donors thanks to social media.  This week, Facebook launched a new feature that lets you add whether you are an organ donor to your timeline.

The new feature is already making a difference.  In Minnesota, an average of five people a day sign up online to become donors.  On Tuesday, after Facebook launched its new feature, 289 people signed up.  Before noon on Wednesday, another 100 people enrolled.

Right now, South Dakota does not have an online donor registry. You can sign up when you get a driver's license.

Cary Wencil with LifeSource says this Facebook feature is a great way to use technology and it truly can be life-saving.

"This is the greatest gift that someone can give to someone else. What a legacy that you can leave; that you can be a hero to someone. After your life is done, in a way, your life continues. You've given the gift of life of an organ donation to someone else," Wencil said.

Wencil says he hopes South Dakota will soon have an online registry.

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg came up with the idea after visiting with his girlfriend who's going to medical school.  He says the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose life was extended by years because of a kidney transplant, also influenced his decision.

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