2 posts tagged “profiles”

One for All: Interview with Diamondlil58 (Welcomer of 15k Patients)

Posted December 9th, 2010 by

We’ve been learning about how connected our patients are this week in our blog series called “One for All.”  In the first two blogs by Jeff Cole, we read (and saw through cool graphics) how some of our members are initiating an unparalleled universe of dialogue.  Today, we sit down with one of those members, Diamondlil58.   A true “diamond” in the MS community, she has left more than 16,000 comments to  welcome other members and get conversation started. Here’s our interview with one of the founders of our PatientsLikeMe “Welcome Wagon,” Diamondlil58.

liz1 (Liz) How and why did you start welcoming people? 
diamondlil38 (Diamondlil58) I was welcomed to PatentsLikeMe by two lovely ladies – JHCamero and Greeneyes.  Their messages made me feel welcome.

I wanted to give back to the MS Community.  I didn’t feel that I knew enough about the disease and the effects it had on others to offer advise in the forum.  But, greeting people is something that I felt comfortable doing.

liz1 (Liz) What type of responses do you get from people you welcome?
diamondlil38 (Diamondlil58) I have received many nice replies from new patients.  Some tell me their experiences,  others ask questions or request help setting up their profile page.  Some want to know my view on therapies and treatments.  I continue to welcome because it has been rewarding to me.  I understand first hand how scary the MS diagnosis can be; how friends and family can’t possibly understand what it’s like to feel the way we do; how we can be perceived as lazy; or the fear of parking in a handicap parking spot and hoping no one verbally attacks us.  Welcoming give others an opportunity to view a profile and helps them see what they can do with theirs.
liz1 (Liz) Do you keep in touch with people you welcome?
diamondlil38 (Diamondlil58) I do keep in touch with so many people that I have welcomed through this site.  Some through Facebook, others in email.  I’ve even met several in the past year or so.  I have built some wonderful friendships here and make more everyday.
liz1 (Liz) What is one thing you’ve learned from looking at new member’s profiles? 
diamondlil38 (Diamondlil58) That we have all different backgrounds.  That we are not all the same but we all share one thing in common and that gives us something to build on to support each other.
liz1 (Liz) Do you feel more engaged with the site and its members as a result of the Welcome Wagon?
diamondlil38 (Diamondlil58) Absolutely!  I wouldn’t do it if it was negative or wasn’t rewarding.  It’s my way of giving back to the MS Community.  I have a great appreciation for the founders of this site, the staff, and the caregivers that join us.  This site has been therapeutic for me in more ways than one, and I am so grateful that I came across it three years ago surfing the internet looking for information on my symptoms.
liz1 (Liz) We’re glad you did too.  Thanks so much for keeping the wagon rolling, Diamondlil58.  You’re an inspiration.

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