But the 57-year-old professor at the West Virginia University Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism and his close family and friends made a bold decision a few weeks ago. They created a social media campaign to help him find a liver.
The LIVEr4Joel Facebook page has almost 150 "likes" with supportive comments from friends, information about liver transplants and updates on the wall. There is also a LIVEr4Joel page on Twitter.
A Facebook post on March 7 said, "In the past week, our page has received 108 New Likes, 91 people are Talking About LIVEr4Joel and we have reached 1,941 people. The response has been amazing, but we are not there yet. Please continue to share this with friends (online and offline), and think of ways to get Joel's story out there."
Beeson suffers from a genetic bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand disease, a type of hemophilia that prevents blood from clotting as it normally should. But in 2003 or 2004, after a stint in the hospital, Beeson was also diagnosed with cirrhosis, the final stage of liver disease. He has been on the transplant list since 2007.