by George Taniwaki
About 120 live donor kidney transplants occur every week in the U.S. Including my own, I know of three donors having surgeries within a nine-day span. That’s sort of a coincidence, but not by much. Similarly, about 250 nondirected donor transplants (cases where the donor does not have an intended recipient in mind and does not know the recipient prior to surgery) occur in the U.S. every year. Including myself, I know the names of about ten people who have or will donate anonymously in 2010. That’s a pretty high proportion of the total and definitely not a coincidence. I learned about most of these people because of research I conduct for this blog. And through the magic of the Internet, I have communicated with a few of them via email.
I’m not a big Facebook user. I do check it several times a week, but post comments less than once a week. I don’t add friends on a regular basis and only have 42 total. But today I realized that including myself, my circle of Facebook friends includes 4 kidney donors. That’s not really a coincidence, since I’ve been seeking out advice and support from other kidney donors as part of my effort to assist kidney patients find live donors. And Facebook is a convenient way for us to stay in touch. But it’s still an oddly high ratio. I’m sure there are lots of Facebook users who have similarly small circles of friends that are connected by very interesting and rare associations.