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Cancer Patients Find Support Through Social Media

Posted Feb 10 2011 4:05am

Guest Post by Stephanie Cohen, UNC-Chapel Hill Student

As a college student with a passion for social media, I have read many great posts about the impact of social networks, but I have never read a post like this.  Chemobabe’s drive and determination to defeat her breast cancer is inspirational beyond words.  In a recent blog post, she writes about how she’s found comfort and support from other Twitter users who are going through a similar experience.  She writes, “I cannot overstate the value of having a community of people who understand life under the dangling sword.”  I HIGHLY recommend you read Chemobabe’s post titled, “Over Our Heads” – http://www.chemobabe.com/2011/01/over-our-heads/ .

We often forget the true value of social media.  It is more than a way for us to keep up with our favorite celebrities or follow the latest trending topics, it’s an online community where strangers connect on a personal level.  Social networks can provide us with the support and strength we desperately need to get us through those tough times.  No one understands this better than Chemobabe. Here’s an extended quote from her amazing post:

“The dread is there and rears its head sometimes. Yesterday, an article in the New York Times detailed the experiences of women with metastatic breast cancer. It was very sobering and shook me up. I tweeted about it and found that many other survivors –– some of whom have metastatic disease –– were also moved by it. We had a spontaneous twitter support group.

I cannot overstate the value of having a community of people who understand life under the dangling sword. Yet it’s hard to find companions on this journey. Typical support groups are not a match for me because I am unusually young to have this disease. Other women have different reasons for feeling alone.”

If only each of us possessed the same courage and resilience as Chemobabe.  She is the essence of a fighter.  Follow her on twitter (@chemo_babe) and certainly take the time to read her blog: http://www.chemobabe.com/blog/ .

Post by Stephanie Cohen, Jennings Intern and UNC-Chapel Hill Student


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