Organ donors update status on Facebook

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Besides your hometown and alma mater, you can now share your organ donor status on Facebook. The website announced its partnership with the Donate Life Tuesday. Donate Life is an organization committed to increasing organ donation. Now, Facebookers will have the option to display themselves as donors, letting their friends and family know, as well as helping to spread the message.

Chris Nalley, 32, isn't just a donor himself, he's a double-lung recipient.

"The first breath I took after the transplant was the longest deepest breath taken in my entire life," says Nalley.

Nalley was born with cystic fibrosis. His lungs would fill with mucus, causing him to constantly get sick. However, a transplant in 2006, courtesy of a registered donor, gave him a new life. "I went from being out of breath walking down the hall to running an 8K five months after surgery," says Nalley.

It's an outcome that Donate Life hopes will be shared by many more patients. Melissa Devenny, of Donate Life Virginia, says the new Facebook outreach may be unparalleled.

"The 114,000 people currently waiting (for organs) are counting on it," says Devenny.

Sharing your status as an organ donor doesn't officially sign you up, but it does help others find out about donating. On your Facebook timeline, click the Life Events tab, then Health and Wellness, and choose organ donor. You can share your status by filling out the fields on the left. If you're not signed up, click the link to the right. This will bring you to your state's official page to register as a donor online.

"It's going to create a lot of conversations," says Nalley. Those conversations may lead to saving lives.

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