BY: DANIEL KORN
Are you strapped for cash? Waiting for a potential employer to call you back about that dream job you interviewed for? Don’t have any marketable skills?
Well I’ve got good news for you—all you need to do is be able to poop healthily, and you could be making an extra 13,000 bucks a year. As an added perk, you’ll be saving a few lives on the way.
OpenBiome, a non-profit based in Medford, Massachusetts, is paying for stool samples to be used in Fecal Microbiota Transplantation (FMT) for those suffering from recurrent Clostridium difficile. The infection is the result of heavy antibiotic use, and as such is “one of the most common hospital-acquired infections in the U.S.”, say the organization’s website. C. diff causes extreme diarrhoea and affects over 500,000 people per year. About 80 per cent of these individuals will recover after a round of antibiotics; the other 20 per cent face a chronic infection that can be fatal in extreme cases, causing 14,000 to 30,000 deaths per year. For these unfortunate individuals, FMT—in which a healthy stool sample is administered to an afflicted patient in order to replenish the stomach’s weak microbiome—is often the best solution, with a 90 percent success rate in clinical trials.
OpenBiome will pay you to collect vials of fecal matter for transplant into patients with Clostridium Difficile infections
The problem is that FMT is not widely used due to a screening process that creates a logistical nightmare for clinicians. This is where OpenBiome comes in—they’ll take care of every part of the screening and preparation process, so that doctors have a healthy supply of ready-to-use fecal transplants whenever patients need.
The “supply” part is where you can get paid to help out. They’ll pay you $40 USD per sample, plus an extra $50 per week if you come in 5 days a week. Keep up this frequency for a whole year, and that adds up to $13,000 in your pocket, for doing nothing more than going to the washroom—something you have to do every day regardless.
This chart was created by OpenBiome to show how many people your poop can help.
There are, of course, some caveats. You have to be able to make frequent donations for a minimum of 60 days, which means living in or near Medford is a necessity. You also have to be between 18 and 50 years old, and have a BMI under 30. You also can’t have travelled to China, Africa, or the Middle East in the past year.
So hey, if you happen to fall within this particular demographic, maybe think about donating some poop; you can make a bunch of money for little work while being a great help to C. diff patients everywhere.
One man’s shit is another man’s treasure