Online campaigning for a disabled girl who has been denied a kidney transplant. Web users in Mexico mobilize for the Tarahumara indigenous people. And you can now follow the Australian Open Tennis Championships online.
USA: a new kidney for Amelia
Amelia Rivera from New Jersey in the US is three years old and was born with a rare genetic disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, which affects many parts of the body and causes mental and physical disabilities. The little girl’s mother Chrissy Rivera, claims her daughter was refused a kidney transplant because of her condition and in a recent blog post she describes the discussion she had last week with a doctor from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Her story has been met with widespread indignation throughout the online community and touched the hearts of many, particularly parents of children with disabilities, who have taken to social networks to voice their support.
One blogger, and mother of two autistic boys, started an online petition calling upon the hospital to authorize this transplant, saying although Amelia is a high risk patient, it could save her life. The petition was signed by over 30 000 people in just one week.
The hospital’s Facebook page has also been swamped with messages from web users discussing this ethical question. The hospital has posted a statement saying it does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities, but cannot comment further due to patient privacy laws.
The affair has divided the medical community. Doctor Ajay Singh feels that Amelia’s case is a complicated one. Should she be given a kidney from a living or a deceased donor? How will the transplant affect her health? There are all sorts of risks involved with this type of operation, and the Harvard Medical School professor feels they need to be properly assessed beforehand.
Mexico: web users mobilize for Tarahumara indigenous people
Around 50 Tarahumara indigenous people from the Mexican state of Chihuahua reportedly committed suicide in 2011 as the on-going drought in the region meant they could no longer feed their families. Ramon Gardea, union leader for the Organized Front of Indigenous Farm Workers, condemned the dramatic situation last week in an interview with a local television, which has since been widely relayed online.
Web users from all over Mexico immediately expressed concern, and outrage, many taking to Twitter to do so, under the hashtag #SierraTarahumara. Social networkers have been urging their fellow citizens to show solidarity with this indigenous community, by donating money and food.
A number of websites and Facebook groups have been set up to centralize the donations and to mobilize support from as many people as possible. They also include additional information on the famine and drought affecting the Tarahumara people.
Despite the strong online mobilization, the Animal Politico blog claims the local authorities continue to deny claims that members of the indigenous community have committed suicide. But the government does seem to have taken on board the gravity of the situation in the state of Chihuahua; this message was posted on Twitter by the Mayor of Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard, it says government agencies are currently doing everything they can to help the Tarahumara.
The Australian Open, the most connected sporting event
This is the leader board that ranks players in the Australian Open based on the buzz they are creating on social networks. This year tournament organizers are hoping to bring the Open to as many tennis fans as possible through a whole host of online tools. So wherever you are in the world, you can follow the competition on your PC. Web users will be playing a participative role as their comments, and match analyses will be posted on the tournament web site, and with all these initiatives at their fingertips, other major sporting events, hoping to become digitally connected, may well follow suit.
Now trending on social networks
"Get back on board for F***s sake!" The command was given via telephone to Costa Concordia Captain Francesco Schettino, by Gregorio De Falco an Italian Coast Guard, on the night the luxury cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany. Ever since the telephone conversation was released to the media the phrase has been widely circulated across social networks in Italy and has even been printed on T-shirts. It reflects the very poor opinion Italians have of Captain Schettino who has been accused of abandoning ship before the passengers were evacuated.
Video of the day
The LMFAO hit "I’m sexy and I know it" revisited by Elmo one of the characters from the children’s show “Sesame Street”… this video is currently doing the rounds on sharing sites and is enjoying huge success. This parody will be a sure fire hit with both adults and children alike.