Being a Poop Donor Isn't as Easy as It Sounds

You've heard of donating bone marrow, sperm, blood and even breast milk. Now it's time to put poop on society's collective radar of donation opportunities. Even though it sounds gross, poop donations are credited with savings hundreds of lives. Known in medical circles as fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), poop transplants are relatively newfangled treatments for potentially deadly, recurrent Clostridium difficile infections, or C. diff. Without donors, the treatments wouldn't be possible. OpenBiome — the first public stool bank in the U.S. — puts their donors through rigorous testing to be sure their samples are safe. They are typically healthy individuals between 18 and 50, who can donate regularly and on-site at local Boston donation spots for a minimum of 60 days. Less than 3% of applicants qualify as suitable donors, making it a seriously elite group. Qualified donors are paid $40 per stool donation. There's an urgent medical need for stool donation, but many people have trouble getting over the "ick factor.” The need for stool donations is likely to grow, as FMT is also being investigated to treat other digestive illness like irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.