A story like this shows just how powerful the combination of celebrity and social-media tools are. Yes, the whole ‘celebrity doing good things for charity’ has all been done before with Red Nose Day, Band Aid and the like, but the immediacy and intimacy of Twitter may prove to be a life-saver, literally, for Nine Inch Nails (NIN) fan Eric De La Cruz, in no small part due to NIN lead singer Trent Reznor’s efforts and his Twitter followers.
NIN fan De La Cruz is a US Medicaid patient in need of a heart transplant, but red tape and lack of transplant centres in his home state of Nevada led to him being rejected for the waiting list. This is where his sister stepped in and got on Twitter, contacting frontman Trent Reznor, who is known for his tech-savvy and geeky tendencies, as well as advocating music models that benefit fans.
Following Reznor’s retweeting of her appeal for donations to help her brother get a heart transplant, and the decision to give exclusive offers to fans that donated, some US$850 has been raised to date.
NIN and touring partners Jane’s Addiction are giving meet and greets and other giveaways including signed CDs to fans who donate certain amounts, while celebrity skater Tony Hawks has joined the cause, with collectable, signed skateboards on offer.
De La Cruz’s sister, along with the LiveGiver Project, is using several other forms of social media to get the message out and raise funds, with a Facebook and Flickr page, as well as a blog http://weloveeric.com/.
By Marie Boran
Pictured: Nine Inch Nails frontman, Trent Reznor
Photo credit: Rob Sheridan