Woman in Need of Rare Liver Transplant Turns to Social Media

Sarah Bernard
October 19, 2012

It's not just for status updates and photo sharing -- social media has become an important outlet for patients in desperate need of organ donors. Debra Karby, a 37-year-old mother from Vancouver with a rare and aggressive form of liver sarcoma, is hoping that she can increase her odds of receiving a liver by sharing her story online. Karby's cancer is curable only with a transplant, but because of how rare her cancer is, she's not eligible for the transplant list. What she needs is a live donor, someone to give her a piece of his or her liver, which could then regenerate in her body. It's pretty amazing that that's even possible.

The Karby family started a website asking for live donors, and then Karby shared her plea with Facebook. Potential donors must be between 18 and 60 years of age, in premium health, and have O blood type. There is some hope for Karby. In January, Amit Gupta, a Leukemia patient from San Francisco, found a perfect bone-marrow match using Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully Karby will find her match as well.

Help us spread the word by sharing this story on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. If interested, visit: uhn.on.ca/Focus_of_Care/MOT. Once on the site you click on "Living Donor Donation" and then follow the instructions under "Becoming a Living Donor."

Alternatively, contact the Living Donor Liver Transplant Office at (416) 340-4800 ext. 6581 and tell them you would like to register for Karby.

[Related: Facebook To Help Find Organ Donors]

[Related: Face Transplant Patient Delights in Transformation]

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