Home > Social media > Using social media to help cancer survivors

Using social media to help cancer survivors

In February 2008, we learned that my wife, Tami, had suffered a recurrence of her breast cancer. The cancer had returned after seven years — and had spread. The prognosis wasn’t good.

After the inital shock, anger, sadness, fear and other associated emotions subsided a bit, we turned to social media to help us proactively address this situation.

We set up a blog, Keep the Positive Energy Flowing on http://www.blogger.com to keep family, friends and others facing similar situations updated. We wanted to share our experience, strength and hope as we continue this cancer journey.

Tami reached out to other cancer survivors — people who were thriving despite recurrent cancer. She began to share some of their insights on Keep the Positve Energy flowing. Then, we thought it would be great to compile the stories in a book.

We began reading books about publishing books and speaking with authors of published works.

Tami put out a request for stories of “miracle cancer survivors” — people who were told they were terminal but beat the odds — on a free service called Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Responses came from around the country! She began to tape and transcribe interviews for the book.

I was new to Twitter, playing around with it. Tami told me to see if Lance Armstrong was a tweeter. I noticed LIVESTRONGCEO, Doug Ulman, the CEO of Armstrong’s foundation, had an account and began to follow him. I sent a direct message to Doug with a link to the intro to Tami’s book, basically her story, and he read it and quickly replied.

Well, Tami ended up interviewing Doug for the forward to the book! And, during a family vacation to Houston, we made a trip to Austin and met with Doug. He graciously gave us 90 minutes of his busy schedule. We plan to donate a percentage of the book’s proceeds to Livestrong, which has helped us stay abreast of clinical trials for Tami’s type of cancer. (By the way, it’s in remission!)

Yesterday, Tami launched a professional blog to support her book — which still needs an agent and publisher — and inspire and assist people affected by cancer. Jason Bayer, a very good professional Web developer, created the site. Mark and Cathy Lyons, excellent photographers, took photos. We’re very serious about this.

PLEASE share this blog with others. Here’s the link: www.TamiBoehmer.com.

Along the way, we’ve had help from a number of social media enthusiasts such as Kevin Dugan, Debba Haupert, Daniel Johnson Jr., Shannan Boyer and countless others. I’ve met lots of online contacts in person at events sponsored by Cincinnati Social Media and New Media Cincinnati. In fact, Tami’s going to join me at today’s New Media get-together. She’s also going to start attending Cincinnati Women Bloggers events.

I’ll continue to share updates about this process as the journey continues. Social media is amazing–and has some potentially positive and powerful potential!!!!

Categories: Social media
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