sharing

MS members share about their PatientsLikeMeInMotion™ experiences

PatientsLikeMeInMotion™ is a way to celebrate our three star members (super health data donors) and sponsor them at events so that they can raise awareness for their condition. If you’re passionate about advocacy and you’re participating in a walk, run or other fundraiser on behalf of your condition, learn more and sign up right here.  We caught up with three MS community members who are active participants in PatientsLikeMeInMotion. They shared about the events they’ve been a part of over the years, why advocacy is important to them and several ways PatientsLikeMe has helped them manage their MS. Scroll down to read what they had to say.  Ajcoia  “Since being diagnosed in 2002, and after my sister was diagnosed in 2001, I have participated and captained every event the Greater Delaware Valley MS Society chapter has offered. This includes the one-day walks, MS150, Muckfest MS and Challenge Walk MS. My favorite event is the Challenge Walk MS, in which I have participated all 12 years. I have met so many wonderful and inspiring people through this event, which brings me back year after year. Advocacy is huge, because without voices out there speaking on our behalf, we would never get any funding …

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Early – regularly – recommended: all for Cervical Health Awareness Month

If you follow our blog, you’ve probably noticed that we post a bunch about awareness months, weeks and days. It’s part of our mission to bring a bit more attention to what’s going on out there and how you can get involved. This will be our first awareness post for 2014, and it’s for National Cervical Health Awareness Month. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for women in the world. According to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC), more than 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,000 will die from complications.1 But there is a silver lining – it’s one of the most preventable types of cancer, especially if signs or symptoms are caught early on. In fact, the cases of and deaths from cervical cancer have recently decreased significantly because of regular pap smears and health checks. From 2000 to 2009, the instance and mortality rate of cervical cancer in women decreased by 2 percent every year.2 If you’re a woman between the ages of 20 and 70, the NCCC recommends getting screened regularly and taking a human papillomavirus (HPV) test if your doctor suggests it. HPV is …

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H@cking Medicine: Open Up!

This weekend, MIT is hosting the first H@cking Medicine conference and PatientsLikeMe is proud to be a sponsor. The hacking encouraged here isn’t malicious, rather, it refers to a passionate subculture of computer programmers who believe in sharing, openness, and innovation (among other things).  Those are three concepts near and dear to us here at PatientsLikeMe. The goal of the conference is to inspire new ideas and create new relationships so that everyone will leave invigorated and excited about improving healthcare.  According to the H@cking Medicine website, “By using available tools in unconventional ways, we aim to revolutionize delivery of care, empower patients, and design new models of care. Typically, healthcare innovation is painfully slow and, even worse, often increases the cost.  We can make a difference by creating cost-effective solutions without waiting for fundamental advances in science.” To kick off the event on the first day, our own Jamie Heywood (keynote) as well as other leaders in the health care field will inspire audience members with ways to find and learn from the best use of openly shared data. The second day is dedicated to team hacking, and gives coders a practical look at what can be done with …

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Patient Choices: The Shape of Sharing

In these days of Facebook and Twitter, the media is abuzz with news of “over sharing” of sensitive, personal or trivial information – everything from your current location to what you were up to over the weekend.  Members on our site may choose to share some of this, but what about some of the less trivial things in life, like your health information?  Is there such a thing as “over sharing?”  And what about your old “networks,” the ones that are now referred to as your “In Real Life” (IRL) relationships?  How much sharing do you do with them? For anyone with a life-changing condition, the choices you make in telling (or not telling) others about your diagnosis are a big deal.  There can be both benefits and risks to openly discussing your condition, whether it’s on a website, at work or amongst friends.  To find out more, we conducted a poll amongst 3,858 patients with 10 different conditions, including ALS/PLS/PMA (N=429), Multiple Sclerosis (N=436), Parkinson’s Disease (N=580), HIV (N=137), Mood Conditions (N=513), Fibromyalgia (N=1,031), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / ME (N=129), Epilepsy (N=347), and Organ Transplants (N=256). How openly have you shared your diagnosis with various people in your life?  …

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The Choices Patients Like You – and Like My Mother – Face

Patients like you with life-changing conditions have to make choices every day, just like anyone else. These choices, however, typically have more at stake than how to RSVP to a party or even whether to walk away from an “underwater” home. For patients like you, your lives may be at stake. I have watched my mother deal with three different types of cancers for more than 25 years, and the choices she had to make for me and my siblings to be successful were stark. As a single mother with a doctorate and two master’s degrees, she had to take jobs that paid less because cancer limited her energy. She took on enormous debt because she wouldn’t let her illness stop her from giving her children a private school education. Those choices started from physical and emotional hardship, then led to economic hardship. Patients like you – and like my mother – have conditions you didn’t ask for, and your ability to keep a job and maintain economic stability isn’t just based on your talent or training, but also in your management of your conditions. Brought on by infection, age, genetic pre-disposition or unknown causes, these conditions factor into every …

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Learning from Others: Newsletter Highlights 2011

In the spirit of the New Year, here are some highlights from our recent newsletter.  Read what patients like you have to say about what they’re most interested in learning from other patients this year. * * * (Amy) What are you most interested in learning from other patients this year? (bradley25 – Mood Conditions Community)I find I offer advice to patients more often than I listen. Offering advice helps me; it makes me think about what I am suggesting. More often than not, I find I offer good advice that I do not necessarily follow myself. Hearing the words come out of my mouth can cause me to think about why I may not be doing what I am suggesting and to make changes in my own life. (mrskidneysurvivor – Transplants Community)There is not any one thing that I can say I am most interested in learning from other patients like me because I gain knowledge and insight from all patients who have had a transplant or who are waiting for one.  We all have experienced or are still experiencing similar situations and take similar medications and cope with our day-to-day health, and I learn from that. Mine has …

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The Patient Rules. A Discussion with the PatientsLikeMe Executives

We recently sat down with our executive team here at PatientsLikeMe in our first-ever roundtable-format podcast.  In this PatientsLikeMeOnCallTM interview, we ask Co-founders Ben and Jamie Heywood, Chief Marketing Officer David S. Williams III, and R&D Director Paul Wicks PhD to discuss why our recent series themes are so important to the history and future of PatientsLikeMe. Blog Series Themes: “Share and Compare” – where you learned more about how and why patients like you are sharing their health information to put their experiences in context. “One for All” – including visualizations on how one member of a community can be the catalyst for a universe of unparalleled dialogue and support. While discussing how patients can continue to drive the health care process, they also help us preview this week’s discussion called “Treat Us Right.” Treat Us Right In this series, we focus on how you can see if your treatment is right, just by the information shared by patients like you; and how important your shared information is to research efforts – both for academia and industry to learn how they can help each of you make good choices about your treatments.  We’ve heard you tell industry to “Treat …

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

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. (Liz) How and why did you start welcoming people?  (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. (Liz) What type of responses do you get from people you welcome? (Diamondlil58) I have received many nice replies from new patients.  Some tell me their experiences,  others ask questions or request help setting up their …

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One for All: The PatientsLikeMe “Welcome Wagon”

In yesterday’s post, we looked at some of the ways members of the PatientsLikeMe community are connecting with other patients and the value they are getting from it.  Today, we’ll highlight how one person can make an enormous difference and inspire you with her ability to connect with others. One method of reaching out to another member on PatientsLikeMe is by leaving a comment on their profile page.  Often, you exchange comments to inquire about specific data on someone’s profile or to thank them for sharing.  However, one of the most common uses of the comments functionality is for existing members to welcome new members to the community.  This is has been affectionately coined the “Welcome Wagon,” and it is most prominent in our MS community.  Today, more than 71% of members in that community get a comment within the first 2 days.  Receiving a comment from a veteran PatientsLikeMe member when you first join the site is a great way to “welcome” you aboard and make you feel a part of the community. A large part of the effectiveness of the MS Welcome Wagon can be attributed to a member named Diamondlil58.  Of the 150,000 comments that have been …

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