Friends in Need: Online social media promote connection, education, and support
By Karen Patterson
In the four years since she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer, Lauren Groover has become a veteran of the medical battlefield.
But Groover doesn’t fight alone. Besides her husband and twin teenage sons, she has a battalion of sister (and fellow) cancer survivors in her Facebook network who give and receive support.
Online, she monitors the health of her Facebook friends and shares her experience with others frequently earlier-stage survivors fearful about some aspect of their own care. I’m very happy to answer their questions, Groover says.
The network, in turn, provides her support. When she recently posted news of her liver metastases, cards, e-mails, calls, and more streamed in. It will make you cry, she says of such outpourings. Someone I’ve never even met sends me pajamas in the mail.
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