Calling All Kidneys: Social Media Helps Save Local Mom’s Life

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

DANVERS (CBS) – Anne Skinner’s kidneys were failing, that’s when her husband Mike, who was desperate to help, tapped into social media.

“I went from a vibrant, busy working mom to a tired, sick woman,” Anne said.
Mike used his Twitter and Facebook accounts, started a blog, and came up with the slogan “Calling All Kidneys” to search for a donor for Anne.

The 43-year-old mother-of-four suffers from Polycystic Kidney Disease, a genetic disease with no cure.

“I went into stage 5 renal failure and was quickly faced with needing a donor,” Anne said.

Mike would have donated his own kidney, but has a pre-existing condition that wouldn’t allow him.

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports

“It became pretty evident if I couldn’t give her a kidney, I needed to find her one,” he said. “There were days I was confident were going to find a donor, but other days I was scared my wife was going to die.”

Mike reached out to me, @KathyWBZ through Twitter, asking for help telling Anne’s story.

He also reached out to friends, family and even celebrities. He said as soon as he got a re-tweet from Donnie Wahlberg, he became obsessed.

Soon, Kirstie Alley, LLCoolJ and Rajon Rondo were all tweeting Anne’s story.

“We got re-tweets that added up to 4.5 million followers,” Mike said.
All this time, an old friend of Mike’s who was living in Colorado was reading the posts and tweets.

Eventually that friend, Jennifer Boyd, decided to donate. She was a perfect match.

Anne calls Jennifer her light.

“She’s everything, I’m thankful, she saved my life,” said Anne.

Mike’s online obsession ended up helping his wife and continues to spread the message of how organ donation saves lives.

On The Web: Donate Life New England

  • Calling All Kidneys news video link « callingallkidneys

    […]  Here is the news story recently seen on WBZ Boston nightly news, great way to show how social media help us find a donor…. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_bg", "ffffff"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_border", "bcb7b4"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_text", "4e4e4e"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_link", "0071bb"); GA_googleAddAttr("theme_url", "b9de20"); GA_googleAddAttr("LangId", "1"); GA_googleFillSlot("wpcom_sharethrough"); Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  • Kathy Carbone

    I am living this very story. I am a 53 yearold mother of four. I do dialysis at home by myself. I am still working, but it is all I can do. It wipes me out. It is very difficullt but i feel I must go on and not let this beat me. My husband who also works thankfully, comes home to another full time job of cooking, cleaning, and carting the kids around. I am very grateful for him. I never thought of posting on social media. I see the results Anne got and I thought I’d give it a try. Please contact me if your are interested in helping.

    • callingallkidneys

      Feel free to contact me on Facebook “Calling All Kidneys” page or would love to help you get the ball rolling

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