7 posts from September, 2008

Living Positive with PatientsLikeMe (AIDS Walk Chicago)

Posted September 24th, 2008 by

AIDS Walk Chicago_walkersYou’ve spotted us again!  This weekend, PatientsLikeMe was a proud sponsor of the AIDS Walk/Run at Grant Park in Chicago on September 20, 2008.  The event, benefiting the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and 70 other local organizations, brought together more than 7,000 people on this warm, sunny day to show their support in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  Together, participants raised a projected $400,000 for AIDS-related services.

David Williams, Catherine Brownstein and I were at this event, and we were thrilled to meet so many great people, including one of our current members.  As we saw at the AIDS Walk in Boston, there were an overwhelming number of support groups and organizational leaders there dedicated to helping patients.

AIDS Walk Chicago_walkersThe PatientsLikeMe HIV community, in particular, was met with great enthusiasm.  Our booth visitors loved that we had social networking components on the site, but were more excited about the patient profiles and treatment reports.  We displayed sample profiles to show how members can chart their treatments, symptoms and outcomes (like CD4 counts and viral loads), and use that information to find others exactly like them.  Many people had heard of websites that offer a place to chat with others, but this health data-sharing approach was new and interesting to all.  Let’s just say heard a lot of  “wows,” which is always exciting and validating for us.

If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll notice that we’ve been out and about quite a bit this Fall spreading the word about PatientsLikeMe.  We’ve exhibited and presented at many events, including the Young-Onset Parkinson’s Network Conference, DBSA Annual Conference, MS Challenge Walk and now the AIDS Walk Chicago.  We hope those we’ve met will find their way to our site, and share their stories, their health data, and their passion for advancing the knowledge of these conditions.

We’ll be here – our community arms wide open.

PatientsLikeMe member lscanlon

PatientsLikeMe sponsors MS Challenge Walk on Cape Cod

Posted September 19th, 2008 by

PatientsLikeMe was recently one of the sponsors for the 2008 MS Challenge Walk on Cape Cod, a three-day, 50-mile event held on September 5-7, 2008. More than 620 walkers participated, each raising a Walkers finishing the Cape Cod Walk minimum of $1,500.  Overall the event raised close to $1.4 million to benefit Multiple Sclerosis (MS) education, support, advocacy and research.

The walkers persevered through some very nasty weather during parts of the walk.  Fortunately, the last day was a spectacular early Fall day in New England, as the event ended with the parade of walkers onto the Hyannis common.

We had the chance to talk to  many participants over the course of the three days, and showed them how PatientsLikeMe can help them share their health data and experiences and learn from others. We showed them a public member’s profile to demonstrate how they could use enter treatments, symptoms and outcomes and chart the course of their disease over time.  They were also very excited to see how this information is aggregated in our Treatment Reports.  Whether they wanted to share their positive experiences with a specific treatment, or were looking for more information about a newly considered treatment, walkers definitely saw great value in our treatment report/evaluation system.

This event is also where our MS quilt made its public debut.  The quilt, PatientsLikeMe quiltmade up of individual squares created by many of our charter MS members, brings home the support aspects of the site.   It highlights some of the people who have helped create and grow the site into one of the largest and most vibrant MS communities online today, with more than 7,600 members from around the world.  The process of actually creating the quilt also represents what PatientsLikeMe is about:  pulling together patients’ experiences and data in a way that allows both the individual and comprehensive view of the disease.

This was an inspirational event. It was rewarding to learn first-hand from people about the challenges they face dealing with MS, and to offer them a resource where they can find and learn from others going through similar challenges.

PatientsLikeMe member thorgan