CEO Kevin O¹Connor Joins Doctors From Swedish Hospital Medical Center Hosts Chat Discussion from Mountain, Stream a Portion of Climb ³Live² on the Web
Climb Aim is to Raise Awareness of Need Organ Donors
SEATTLE, Wash. August 30, 2010 A team of climbers including LifeCenter Northwest¹s CEO Kevin O¹Connor and transplant doctors from Swedish joined together to climb Mount Rainier in Washington State to raise awareness of importance of organ donation. Together with Swedish Drs. Marquis Hart, MD, Andrew Precht, MD and others, the climbing team made it to summit the iconic 14,411-foot mountain equipped with a social media backpack put together by the Swedish social media team. With the help of this team, the doctors streamed a portion of their experience - video above.
"The need for organ donors is great," says O¹Connor. "Those waiting for donation face a greater task than climbing a mountain- the interminable wait for a donated organ. In fact, more than half of those on the wait list will not receive a transplant in time."
The climbing team used a 10-pound social media backpack (including a satellite phone, laptop, web camera, and other technologies) to stream an hour-long live video segment discussing the importance of organ donation and transplantation. During the hour, the public had an opportunity to ask the surgeons and LifeCenter Northwest¹s CEO questions about organ transplantations, donor lists and their summiting experience. Twitter users were able to ask nearly live questions through @DonateLife2day.
To help continue the discussion and to build further awareness following the climb, a special Twibbon has been created for people to use in their social networks. Similar to the organ transplant logo on a driver¹s license, people can download a special "Twibbon" heart to add to their profile picture on their social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and more. The purpose of the Twibbon is for people to place the "heart" in the bottom corner of their profile picture to encourage people to become organ donors as well as to encourage a discussion around the need for people to tell
their loved ones that they are an organ donor. To download the special
Twibbon, go to http://bit.ly/cLKZwV.
A team at Swedish supported the climbers from a location within the hospital campus where kidney recipient/patient Wayne Johnson will discuss his experiences and add to the conversation.
LifeCenter Northwest is one of the 58 federally-designated non-profit organ procurement organizations (OPO) in the United States. By educating the community about the need and the importance for people to register their donation wishes, they hope to help the over 100,000 people waiting for a transplant. The Washington Donate Life Today Registry is a confidential database of donation wishes to be carried out at the time of death and accessed only by donation professionals. For more information, or to register your wishes, go to www.DonateLifeToday.com