When Their Daddy Needed a Kidney, Viral Photos Helped Save His Life

When the Callaway family posted a picture on Facebook asking for a kidney, they had no idea that the photo would result in hundreds of strangers that would offer to donate a kidney. After over 900 people called in to help, North Texas resident, Chris Carroll, ended up being the best match for Raleigh Callaway, who was battling stage-five kidney disease when the photo went viral.

Photo: The Callaway Family - Brandy Angel Photography

More Than a Coincidence

Brandy, the photographer, shared with Taylor's Gift how she and Kristi, Raleigh's wife, helped the photo go viral.

"Kristi called me and asked how we could get his photo out there
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“Dead Heart” Transplants: Breakthrough in Transplants & Organ Donation

In the last several months, three “dead hearts” have been successfully transplanted into three patients at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia - something that is being referred to as the "biggest heart transplant breakthrough in a decade". 

Photo: Flickr

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Little Albert's Bucket Challenge Update: He Received a Heart Transplant!

Even if your Facebook News Feed was flooded with friends’ #ALSicebucketchallenge videos last month, hopefully you saw “Alberts Bucket Challenge” which was a little bit different from the others. We were so excited to hear that little Albert, the five year old boy who was born with only half a heart, received a heart transplant within days of posting his unique video.

Image: Facebook

A Unique "Ice Bucket Challenge" Video

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Remembering Kristina's Bucket List Wish to "Save Someone's Life"

Last night, dozens of friends gathered to walk in memory of Kristina Chesterman, the 21-year-old nursing student from Chico State University who was killed by a drunk driver last September. Shortly following her death, her parents discovered a bucket list in her apartment. Among the items on Kristina's list was "Save Someone's Life". Her wish was ultimately granted and according to The Today Show, Kristina became an organ donor and saved not just one - but five lives.

An Instant Bond Between Families

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Decreasing the Waiting List with Organ Donation Data? Possibly.

Earlier this summer I stumbled across an article published on Mashable that I found quite interesting and wanted to share it with you. The article, Big Data’s Effect on Organ Transplant Wait LIsts, is not only helpful to better understand the complicated process of matching donors to recipients, but also an encouraging reminder of the many people teaming up to save lives through the hope that is organ donation.

You can read here how economists, doctors, and mathematicians are teaming up together to take organ donation to a new level, using data and algorithms (the fancy word for the process of using a specific set of rules to find a calculation) in an effort to save more lives by helping match donors to recipients, more precisely.

Donors, Algorithms, and New Ideas

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The Living Donor Protection Act: What You Need to Know and How to Help

Photo: Flickr (Leo Grübler)

Living organ donation is on the rise, however, there may be unforeseen obstacles ahead for the living donor... unless the guidelines for FMLA can be improved, that is.

Currently the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not specify that living organ donors can take unpaid leave to recover from their donation, or guarantee that living donors will have a job waiting for them after surgery. In many cases the living donor’s employer’s company policy and health insurance plan has the final say as to exactly what the employee can expect to happen if they decide to become a living organ donor. At this time there is no protection against discrimination for the living organ donor in regards to purchasing individual health insurance, which every American citizen is now required to have. Some insurance carriers consider living organ donation to be a “pre-existing” condition, thereby either charging higher rates or denying coverage altogether to the living donor.

The High Cost of Being a Living Donor

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Hope is Alive: Recent Organ Donation Stories in the News

More and more, lives are being touched through the selfless act of organ donation; and here lately, there seem to be more and more uplifting stories of people touched by the gift of life through organ donation. We’ve come across a few recent instances, and thought we’d pass along these inspirational, organ donation stories.

A Two Way Street of Gratitude

When Kalem Millar passed away following a tragic ATV accident 10 years ago, his parents’ Bill and Trish made a decision to donate his organs - saving the life of Jake MacKinnon, someone they’d never met. Ten years later, still living with gratitude that could only be described as “immeasurable,” Jake’s mom - Janice MacKinnon - decided to return the favor to the family that had so selflessly saved her own. It's a generous act of kindness and organ donation that California hospital officials say they've never seen before

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An 11 Year Old's Wish to Become an Organ Donor Respectfully Honored by His Doctors

A powerful photo of a selfless young boy is making it's way around social media. Passing away at the young age of 11 years old, Liang Yaoyi left the world a better place, touching millions of lives around the globe.

Photo: Huffington Post 

Liam's mom covers her face while the boy's team of doctors bow and pay respects to the young cancer victim.

Diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 9, the young boy had a true 'Outlive Yourself' spirit. His selfless decision to become an organ donor and his desire to help make the world a better place is touching hearts across the world.

With dreams to become a doctor and help other children one day, he recognized that his brain cancer might not let him acheive that dream. But he didn't let that stop him from making an impact. While at the hospital with his mom, he asked to be donated. Confused by what he was asking, he clarified by telling her, "Donate my organs."

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