Today is the big day. A kidney transplant is happening in the Twin Cities this morning, thanks to twitter. Minneapolis musician/artist Chris Strouth had known about his illness for some time. In medical terminology it's a mouthful. Though technically called IgA Nephropathy Strouth has dubbed his sickness "Harold." It is a much less menacing name, but after one particularly disheartening visit to the Mayo Clinic Strouth discovered Harold had turned life-threatening. His first thought? To tweet what was happening. His message to his twitter account was brief, along the lines of "sh!t, I need a kidney." He later followed up with a Facebook post. Before long over a dozen friends and contacts volunteered to be tested, to see if their tissue would match. Only one was a perfect match. The donor is a man who apparently likes squirrels, Strouth's old acquaintance Scott Pakudaitis, whose latest status made me smile:
"At the hospital. Goodbye kidney hellooo pantslessness!"
Pakudaitis named his healthy kidney "William the Conqueror" and posted about it doing battle with Harold. I've been following these fine gentlemen on twitter and watching events unfold has been uplifting, to say the least. I wish them both speedy recoveries after today's surgeries. And to anyone who doubts the power of social networking, not only can it be life changing, it can be life saving.
[cross-posted at Geek Girls Guide]