Saturday, June 30, 2012

Publishing for Just One Reader

Of all the interviews that I have published, I think I am most proud of this one: "Mother Seeks Kidney, Lifesaving Hero Through Facebook." It tells the story of one brave woman who is facing some some serious health issues. Even with dialysis treatments, the prognosis is bleak, and she expects she might have five years left, during which time she will become sicker and sicker.

The thing is, though, her condition can be not just more effectively treated, but virtually cured with a tested, approved, and proven medical technique. Despite this, 4500 people each year die while waiting their chance to undergo that "cure." Granted, the cure is ot permanent, but it does grant a reprieve of 10-30 years or so. That treatment is a kidney transplant.

Unfortunately, too few donors step forward to meet the needs of patients who have experienced kidney failure. The interview with Maria gives an emotional account of what it's like to sit on a transplant waiting list for years, knowing that it only takes one person, one hero, to step forward and offer to help. In Maria's case, she has turned to Facebook to try to locate a suitable donor.

This article hopes to reach that one single individual willing to give the gift of life for Maria. In order to reach that one reader, however, it's important to put the article in front of as many people as possible and get them to share it as broadly as they can to aid the search. Of course, all of them will also learn about the effects of kidney failure and dialysis, as well as the importance of organ donation.

Those who donate kidneys are thoroughly screened to make sure they are healthy and have no significant risk factors that would reduce the function of their remaining kidney should they donate one. So effective is this screening that kidney donors have identical life expectancies as those with two functioning kidneys.

To hear Maria's story in her own words and learn more about kidney donation, click the interview link.

Finding the Story

As for the interview itself, I first learned of Maria and her situation when a former colleague of mine contacted me and mentioned that it might make a good story and, of course, help to publicize Maria's search for a donor. Personal contacts can be an important source of potential news stories and newsworthy interview subjects.

Editorial Requests

I thought the emotion of the story made it very compelling, but my editor suggested that the Facebook search made it more unique and asked me to revise it to focus a bit more on that angle. Unusual and emotional stories are more likely to be prominently featured and reach a larger audience. Since that is the goal of the piece, I was happy to oblige.

1 comment:

  1. Loved this piece, Brad. Hoping it reaches that one person.