A nonprofit organization is seeking donations in the hope of saving lives, but they're not asking for money; they're looking for people willing to donate their poop, and they're willing to pay for it -- up to $13,000 a year.

The group, OpenBiome, wants the donations of poop for fecal microbiota transplantations, a procedure that can help people suffering from an aggressive intestinal bacteria called Clostridium difficile, which can cause extreme, debilitating gastrointestinal distress which can leave its victims housebound.

C. difficile, which can lead to colitis, persistent diarrhea and severe abdominal pain, strikes nearly 500,000 people in the United States every year and in some cases can be fatal, OpenBiome says.

Introducing healthy fecal matter -- easily done by endoscopy, capsules or through nasal tubes  -- into the gut of someone suffering such a bacterial onslaught can kill off the C. difficile permanently, but finding donors has been difficult.

That led the founders of OpenBiome, based in Massachusetts, to establish the country's first nationwide poop bank, from which they've send around 2,000 rigorously screened, healthy frozen stool samples to some 200 treatment centers at clinics and hospitals around the U.S.

Donors supply their feces in person by visiting the OpenBiome headquarters in Medford, Mass.

And the group is willing to pay donors handsomely; $40 per sample, plus a $50 bonus for donors willing to contribute poop 5 days a week.

That's $250 a week, or over the course of a year, $13,000.

"We get most of our donors to come in three or four times a week, which is pretty awesome," says OpenBiome co-founder Mark Smith. "You're usually helping three or four patients out with each sample, and we keep track of that and let you know."

Prospective donors must between 18 and 50, have a body mass index less than 30 and be in very good health; only around 4 percent of would-be donors make the cut by passing an extensive medical questioning along with testing of their stool, OpenBiome says.

"It's harder to become a donor than it is to get into MIT," jokes Smith, who got his own PhD in microbiology there.

It may be easy money for donors, but that's not the only reason they're doing it, says OpenBiome co-founder Carolyn Edelstein.

"Everyone thinks it's great that they're making money doing such an easy thing," she says. "But they also love to hear us say, 'Look, your poop just helped this lady who's been sick for nine years go to her daughter's graduation.'"

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