Web Enables Organ Donation, Good Deeds

June 13, 2009 08:00 AM
by Lindsey Chapman
The Web’s power to draw complete strangers together to participate in acts of kindness is highlighted by a Web site connecting organ donors with those in need.

Tackling Health Problems Together

Soon, Anthony Cottman will meet the woman who is about to become a very real part of him.

Cottman, who suffers from anemia problems and receives dialysis treatments three days a week, needs a kidney transplant, according to the New York Daily News.

Nancy Murrell, a woman he has so far only met through text messages, e-mails and phone calls, plans to donate a kidney to him. “She is giving it to me for no other reason than I need it,” Cottman told the paper.

Murrell learned about this kidney donation opportunity through Chaya Lipschutz, another woman who donated a kidney and then created a Web site, Kidney Donor & Kidney Matchmaker, to help other donors and recipients meet.
Of her decision to help Cottman, Murrell said, “It’s for Anthony, and to make the world a better place, but it’s also just really, really interesting. It’s an adventure.”
David Turner had hoped the Web would be able to help him resolve a health issue, too, but instead he is using it to help someone else. Turner learned at age 25 that he had stage IV lymphoma.

A stem cell transplant was his best chance for survival, WTVD News explained, but without health insurance, David was going to have to find a way to raise the $500,000 he needed for the procedure himself. He started a Web site, to draw attention to his cause.

Unfortunately, Turner also needed his cancer to be in remission to have the stem cell transplant. Even though it was for a time, the cancer came back, and he had no way of accessing the almost $50,000 that had been raised.

David changed his plan. His Web site became, and he now hopes that the venture will be able to provide funding for one person a year who needs a transplant.

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Related Topic: Good deeds and the Web; an organ donation love story

A Kind Act

In Hampstead, N.H., Josee Archer has set a goal to help people perform 1,000 good deeds in 30 days. is the Web site she created as part of the effort.
New England Cable News explains that participants in the project pick up a card from a local coffee house. Those who do a good deed put their initials on the card and leave it behind. The good deeds have a code, which the people who benefit from the act of kindness can enter into Archer’s site to thank the good deed doer; the recipients are then asked to pay a good deed forward.

A Kidney to an Ex-husband

Seventeen years after ending their marriage, Jim and Bernadette Tobin, a divorced couple, fell back in love after Bernadette helped save Jim’s life by giving him her kidney. Only a transplant could help Jim overcome his kidney disease, and when Bernadette asked to be tested, she learned she was a perfect match for him.

After recovering from surgery together at their daughter’s home, the two reconnected. Ten years after the kidney transplant and 17 years after divorcing, the Tobins remarried.

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