World's Largest Organ Donor Registry Crowdsources PSA's

by Stephanie Visscher

World's Largest Organ Donor Registry Crowdsources PSA'sAmateur filmmakers don’t have to move to Hollywood to make it big thanks to a new video contest for MatchingDonors.com, the world’s largest living organ donor registry. The organization has partnered with Zooppa, a website of user-generated advertising to create the “Everybody Can Save a Life!” contest. Participants can upload a 30 second PSA encouraging people to sign up to be a living donor and save lives. The videos will be judged by Hollywood heavyweights such as Emmy award-winning producer Jon Kroll and Tom Cavanaugh, Senior Vice President of Music at 20th Century Fox. The winner will receive his or her choice of assistant producing or work credits on a film project with one of the esteemed judges, two tickets to the annual Hollywood Awards Gala and $5,000 in cash. This is competing for a cause.

The facts are grim: every day 19 people die while waiting for an organ transplant, many which could have come from a living donor. Kidneys are the most in demand organ while liver tissue, portions of lung, bone marrow and pieces of intestine can all be donated. Two of the contest participants know firsthand the importance of living organ donation: Cavanaugh has donated a kidney to a patient from MatchingDonors.com and National Lampoon producer Alan Donnes received a kidney from a match found on the website.

Zooppa CEO Wil Merritt extols the virtue of social media: “‘Everybody Can Save a Life!’ provides a great opportunity for members of our creative community to contribute their video making skills and ultimately help save lives.”

Videos can be uploaded through September 13. The second and first place winners will receive $2000 and $1000 prizes, respectively. More details can be found by visiting Zooppa.com/contests/matchingdonors-wants-a-piece-of-you. And…don’t forget while you’re at it to check the organ donor box on your drivers license.


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Stephanie Visscher is a Social Innovation intern at Zoopa and a member of the Global Innovation Excellence Community.

No comments

  1. The first, important overlooked fact of matchingdonors.com is that they charge would-recipients to post a listing. Sure, they offer ‘free’ listings based on financial need, but make no mistake, nonprofit doesn’t mean no revenue.

    Secondly, it’s repugnant how one-sided this venture is. Donating a kidney is not a pint of blood. 4.4 living kidney donors die every year in the US within 12 months of surgery. Approximately 20% suffer complications: hernia, intestinal blockage, testicular swelling and sensitivity, chylous ascites, adrenal dysfunction, etc. 20-30% experience depression, anxiety, anger and PTSD yet not a single transplant center offers aftercare or support services.

    There are NO national standards of living donor evaluation, selection, or treatment.

    We have NO information any living donors prior to 1994 because the transplant industry never felt living donors were important enough to collect any identifying information on (eg. social security number).

    Since 2000, OPTN has required one year of follow-up, extended to two years in 2006. Yet 40% of living donors are reported “lost” by one year, and in 2009, OPTN’s own data task force concluded the OPTN database was ‘woefully inadequate’ and useless for research or analysis.

    There is NO long-term data on living donors’ health and well-being. A recent New England Journal of Medicine article by Ibrahim has been touted in the media as saying that LDs live longer than the general population but the study itself is deeply flawed and makes no claim of this sort. Another, by Segev, has been utilized in the same disingenuous fashion. It too is invalid and unreliable.

    Reduced kidney function means a higher lifetime risk of hypertension, cardiac disease and death, and kidney disease and death. Since 1994, nearly 300 prior kidney donors have been waitlisted in need of their own transplant. Ron Herrick, the world’s first living kidney donor, suffered a stroke in 2002, was on dialysis during the last years of his life, and died two months after a cardiac related surgery in 2010.

    If we, as a society, are to continue utilizing the public as organ incubators, we need to be honest about our actions. Living donors are people too.

  2. An update: Entries to Zoopa’s contest for MatchingDonors.com can now be uploaded until October 1st. Visit Zooppa.com/contests/matchingdonors-wants-a-piece-of-you for more info.

  3. A new video brief on this awesome contest 🙂

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