Most people use Facebook to stay in touch with friends. Increasingly, however, social media are proving to be useful in fulfilling other more urgent needs. The desperate parents of a 2-year-old girl with a crippling kidney disease have found a donor by posting an appeal on Facebook.
Arianna lives in the northern U.S. state of Minnesota. When she was about seven weeks old, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney disorder. Her father, Jeremy Booth, said that since then, dialysis has kept her alive.
"She is on dialysis treatment every night. They last about 10 to 12 hours. She gets on as soon as she goes to bed and she gets taken off when she wakes up in the morning," said Booth.
Tired of seeing her daughter suffer, Ashley Booth posted a plea for help on Facebook. Some 2,400 kilometers south, in Florida, Christy Harding, also a mother of a young girl, saw the appeal. Harding decided to offer her own kidney if it would match.
"I can't imagine waiting for that phone call to say -- yes, somebody has made the decision to save your daughter's life," said Harding.
When the Booths received a call confirming that Harding was a match and willing to donate her kidney, Arianna's mother was overwhelmed with emotion.
"I wanted to cry. I wanted to smile. My son was standing there and tears were coming down my eyes and he said, 'Mom, who is it? What's wrong?' And I said, 'Nothing. These are happy tears. Arianna is finally going to get a kidney,’" said Booth.
The surgery is scheduled for early May.