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Language community helps find blood transfusion for former Duolingo staffer.

This isn't the first time I've created a post about how Duolingo and multi-lingual access has helped to save a life, and it likely won't be the last.

Yesterday, a friend and former Duolingo staff member put out the word: their mother had gone into surgery and needed a blood transfusion. (I haven't shared their name in the interest of privacy.) Unfortunately, the doctors didn't have the blood or know anyone who met the requirements.

The language community set to work, networking as quickly as possible. People were tagged as far as China and as close as my town. Everyone was looking for anyone who might know someone who lived in the same town as the hospital, and who would be a viable blood donor. (I was shocked to discover that a long time, local friend of mine had family in that town! Small world indeed! Sadly, they didn't meet the requirements.)

The networking was an inspiring thing to watch. People were reaching out across boundaries of geopolitics, language, race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, and beyond. Saving a life became everyone's most important priority.

In the age of the internet, it was plainly illustrated that community is a verb, and it is global.

Long story short, everyone's joint efforts were a success! After the blood donors were located, the former Duolingo staffer had this to say:

"I just want to express my gratitude to the language community for their fast response and highlight the importance of learning languages because it can help save lives."

Edit: In total, I so far have shared three emergency-related true stories now. So I'll link to them for those interested: The importance of multi-lingual access, Language community helps find blood transfusion for former Duolingo staffer), and Spanish in a Crisis.

January 10, 2017





Some time ago I gave blood quite often

when you used to get guiness in Scotland

guiness that black Irish drink for giving blood

in exchange for blood a cool creamy guiness

still it has changed in the United Kingdom

we now just give without any gift

The gift only the joy of giving life

thank you for such a lovely story





This story is so amazing. It's incredible to think that a strand to sounds being stringed together can help build bridges between everyone.


A few Lingots in gratitude for a lovely sentence that in just a few words conveyed such a great message ... Thank you


Merci beaucoup! Si vous voulez practiquer des langues, je vous peux aider :)


Just wanted to give everyone an update: Their mom is doing really well since the transfusion! :D


Bravo to all of you. Those who posted and those who responded. Makes you happy to be alive. Hope the patient is doing well.


AMAZING truly inspirational. How people are so determined to save lives. They communicate in a wonderful way and they reach out and help people.

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