Connect: Sharing Strengthens Us and Others

Jan 29, 2019 | Lisa Lucier | @lisalucier | Comments (3)

Rosemary Teresa John Mentor Collage

When you visit an online health community, you are looking for others to connect with who have had similar disease experiences, make you feel welcome and supported, help you find answers, and introduce you to others who’ve “been there.”

Some of the very first people you will meet or may have already met on Mayo Clinic Connect are the volunteer mentors: patients and caregivers just like you who are recognized as trusted members and give of their time to help others in the community. Mentors welcome members and help them feel at home. They may also suggest resources, start discussions and check-in on members who haven’t posted for a bit.

Mentors often say that they get as much as they give — that there is great reward in being there for others as well as receiving help and information from them, in turn. That’s because Connect is a community of many people, who all learn and support each other.

In the following videos, volunteer mentors Rosemary @rosemarya, Teresa @hopeful33250, and John @johnbishop, share what they value about connections, conversations and community.

@rosemarya talks about how she went online looking for someone with her disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, or even had a transplant like she did due to its progression to liver failure and then acute kidney failure. She speaks about how as a mentor she is able to be with members and virtually enter their living rooms, hold their hands and walk with them during difficult times in their health journeys. She also loves to connect members with others on Connect who have faced similar diseases and procedures.

@hopeful33250 shares that she found Mayo Clinic Connect after her third neuroendocrine tumor diagnosis prompted her to seek support from others who would understand. She not only found camaraderie there, but also a way to help other people as a member and later as a volunteer mentor, offering encouragement and pointing to resources to help them become better informed about their illnesses. @hopeful33250 says she realizes Connect community members often feel anxious about their diagnoses and need some support along the way. She feels that knowing others who have dealt with the same illnesses and fears can be very helpful, as they really get where you are coming from and what you are dealing with.

@johnbishop says his online search after receiving a diagnosis for small fiber neuropathy led him to Mayo Clinic Connect, where he’s been ever since. He talks about the opportunity serving as a Connect volunteer mentor offers him to give back to others, giving members a little bit of help and information from his personal experience. @johnbishop loves to talk about Connect everywhere he goes, with the hope of drawing more people into the place he found help, answers and support.

Meet all the Connect volunteer mentors and read their Spotlight features.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the About Connect: Who, What & Why blog.

Great to see faces and hear voices along with the names that we have become familiar with! Thanks to all three of you for stepping up and being there for us, and thank you to Mayo Connect for highlighting these members.


Being devoted to a cause, greater than one's self, actually improves oneself! I so admire these volunteer. To me Happiness habits can be boiled down to
G.L.A.D.- Gratitude, Laughter, Acceptance and Devotion. I've had a few detours, giving me time to observe and learn and hopefully help others. Ironically, when I try to help others, I coincidentally feel better myself (but my only intention was to help others). Again,, congratulations to these awesome mentors. Dr. Ron Rubenzer – Your well-being is my commitment."

Shared files


GLAD Model- To Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life PDF 1-24-2019 (GLAD-Model-To-Be-Happy-for-the-Rest-of-Your-Life-PDF-1-24-2019-2.pdf)


Three excellent interviews, so nice to get to hear and see some of the best Connect mentors whom I have gotten to know so well through postings.

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