Woman's tweet saves a life, inspires documentary

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Social media is great for a lot of things -- spreading news and information, catching up with old friends, making new ones. That ability to connect can changes lives in incredible ways. Case in point: A single tweet led to a life-saving organ transplant for a Valley woman and inspired a film called "Social Media Stole My Kidney: A Documentary About a Girl Who Lost Her Kidney on Twitter."

It all started in January 2011. It was just another Friday night for Amy Donohue, until she spotted a tweet by @diyamarketing. It said: “Help me save my mother’s life, help me find a kidney donor.”

"I have such an exciting life," Donohue recalled. "I was about to get in the tub, and I checked my Twitter feed. It said that her mom had agreed to go on the donor list. It’s very difficult for people to go on and ask for a kidney."

The person tweeting under the @diyamarketing handle was Kirti Dwivedi, who was watching her mom suffer and deteriorate, desperately in need of a kidney transplant. It was a life or death situation.

Dwivedi and Donohue were longtime Twitter and Facebook friends. They had been following each other on Twitter for a couple of years.

“When I saw [Kirti’s] tweet, my exact words were ‘I’ll do it I’ll donate my kidney. What do I have to do?’" Donohue said.

"I asked if I could call her and that’s when the conversation got real,” Dwivedi said.

The women firmed up details, and Donohue went through the needed tests and blood work.

The surgery happened in April. The rest, as they say, is history.

Dwivedi says Donohue did more than save her mother.

“Understatement. She saved my family. She filled a seat at the table that we didn’t know was empty,” she says.

Donohue’s tweet-turned-kidney-donation made national news. That was two years ago.

Today, Donohue, a hysterical standup comic, is now a one-kidney-havin' woman on a mission.

What she did saved Dwivedi's mothers life. And it changed hers.

She now uses her voice not only to make people laugh, but also to educate them about living organ donations.

She spent the month traveling to different countries to interview donors for her documentary "Social Media Stole My Kidney!" Her hope is to dispel beliefs that donating organs changes a donor’s life in negative ways.

"We are filming other kidney donors who I met through social media who are living normal happy healthy lives,” Donohue said.

One tweet. One kidney. One plan.

“My plan is to change the world with this story," Donohue said. "There is an ignorance about organ donation. There are almost a 100,000 people right now waiting for an organs; 94 percent are waiting for a kidney.

Thanks to Donohue, Dwivedi’s mother is no longer waiting -- or suffering.

“It’s so hard when you are watching your loved one hold on, but I want people to know that we did find hope and my mother is healthy and alive, completely unexpected,” she said.

To learn more about Donohue's project or to make a contribution, check out SocialMediaStoleMyKidney.wordpress.com or Facebook.com/SocialMediaStoleMyKidney.

To learn more about organ donation or to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit DonateLife.net.