Facebook has launched an organ donation campaign, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has revealed that his girlfriend and Steve Jobs were the inspiration behind the campaign.
Zuckerberg came up with the idea for the campaign following conversations with his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, who is training to be a paediatrician, he revealed in an interview with ABC News. His friendship with the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, also inspired the Facebook founder, as he witness first hand the effects of the liver transplant received by Jobs in 2009.
“Facebook is really about communicating and telling stories… we think that people can really help spread awareness of organ donation and that they want to participate in this to their friends. And that can be a big part of helping solve the crisis that’s out there,” Zuckerberg told ABC.
Zuckerberg said that, although he had never spoken to Jobs about a transplant campaign, his death was an inspiration to get the campaign started.
“That definitely, I think, was something that we all had in mind as we were building this out… His story is just one of many, of people who both were able to have an organ transplant that make his life longer and he was extremely thankful for that,” said Zuckerberg.
The new campaign means that users in the UK and US can publish that they are registered organ donors on their Facebook Timeline. For those that aren’t donors, there are links to official organ donation registries that enable people to enroll quickly and easily.
Zukerberg told ABC that his girlfriend would tell him stories about the patients she meets “getting sicker as they don’t have the organ that they need.” Chan would also tell Zuckerberg “unbelievable” stories about children who did receive transplants. In one example, Chan talked about a boy who had turned blue from lack of oxygen, and needed a heart transplant. Within weeks of receiving a new heart, the boy was able to play sports again.