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joycegroenke

Social Media Summit Scholarship Essay – Martha Garrett

Posted by @joycegroenke in Brain & Nervous System, Aug 16, 2011

Editor's Note: This is an entry in our Scholarship Contest for Patients and Caregivers to attend the Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit Oct. 17-21 in Rochester, Minn. See this post

http://socialmedia.mayoclinic.org/2011/07/26/patient-caregiver-scholarship-contest-for-social-media-summit/

for more details on the contest, and please cast your votes by liking or commenting on the candidates you think would be best.

Here is Martha Garrett’s Essay:

Online social media has been my connection to people since being diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis and trigeminal neuralgia in 2003. Because of research and online discussion groups I was able to find out about microvascular decompression surgery for my trigeminal neuralgia and had successful surgery that stopped the pain in 2006.

I have been amazed how many people are house bound or feeling alone and can reach out via the internet for knowledge and friendship. Being involved online via Twitter, Facebook and now Google+; plus blogging and posting videos has given me the ability to reach out from my sofa on the bad days and feel a purpose in my life even from home.

Because of being home most of the time after working two jobs for decades I got involved with the tech community and podcasts. In 2009 I was invited to fly out to Dallas and be filmed for an episode of GeekBrief.TV (posting links at the bottom of my essay). I was also on the same trip invited to film a segment of CookingWithKat.TV. Because of the internet exposure I got from being on these video podcasts my followers on twitter increased. Which gives me more of a platform to reach out to people via social media.

These connections are divine. As I'm a people person who would be terribly depressed without engaging with others on a daily basis. As far as living with chronic illness goes, I would be without the knowledge I get from sharing with others who are dealing with similar circumstances. Trigeminal Neuralgia is also known as the suicide disease. My heart goes out to those who suffer with this most horrible of conditions. Again it is via connecting online that I am able to encourage people who are suffering or their caretakers.

Most recently we've received the devastating news that our youngest son who is 33years old has early onset Parkinson's disease. Now I'm beginning again via social media to reach out for help and understanding. I'm so excited to hear about the Social Media Summit. There is no way that I could even consider attending due to my limited financial assets. Yet with the possibility of a scholarship this is within my reach. Again due to the enormous connections available because of the internet and social media.

I would use my experiences of reaching out to others who suffer with chronic health conditions and/ or rare diagnosis via the internet. I would share how to best utilize social media as not only a platform for sharing but as an unlimited resource for information.

There are so many things I would look forward to learning from the experts who gather together at this conference. Such as how to find the best sources of medical information online, where to find discussion boards that are moderated and give the most valuable information. I would also be thrilled to connect with others who find social media as powerful as I do.

Tags: Scholarship contest, Other, Trigeminal Neuralgia, multiple sclerosis, parkinsons disease

resteasty4, noraa8719, ahbauer2 and 45 others like this
elagrew

Posted by @elagrew, Aug 17, 2011

Martha, Great essay! Very personal and appropriate. Good Luck and Blessings!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Elbert.. you are a dear brother. I know you had to dig hard to find this spot to "like" and comment. Thank you for doing just that

True love and LifeVerse like this
lifeverse

Posted by @lifeverse, Aug 18, 2011

Another Twitter friend...it feels like family here!

jeffmccord

Posted by @jeffmccord, Aug 17, 2011

Great essay! This really moved me and I feel like you will touch millions with your story.

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Jeff.. thank you thank you. I once tweeted that I was going to change the world from my sofa! This is still my heart via social media

LifeVerse likes this
rlmayhan

Posted by @rlmayhan, Aug 17, 2011

This is a great mission.

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Social Media is my mission and my passion. It's the place I've been given to make a difference. Hope I can go learn more about helping others via social media at Mayo

LifeVerse likes this
lifeverse

Posted by @lifeverse, Aug 18, 2011

Hey Richard, I recognize you from Twitter. Nice to see you here commenting on this site too. Great information!

davecurlee

Posted by @davecurlee, Aug 17, 2011

Great story!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Love you brother! Thank you for the vote of confidence.

sbrookeb1

Posted by @sbrookeb1, Aug 17, 2011

You so deserve this Martha!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Brooke.. who has neighbors like you? We do! Thank you friend

judyk

Posted by @judyk, Aug 17, 2011

Wonderful, Martha! You are such a blessing!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Judy.. You Hot Momma's come through over and over in my life. Thank you

forwellness

Posted by @forwellness, Aug 17, 2011

Go for it Martha~~ you help so many, kay

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Thank you my sweet sister! Love you Kay.

tfarkle

Posted by @tfarkle, Aug 17, 2011

What a blessing you are to all you connect with...hoping this will send you to even more so you can brighten their days!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Thank you T! Love you sister. I do so hope to get this opportunity to learn more about using social media to help those with chronic health issues

froggity120

Posted by @froggity120, Aug 17, 2011

You can count on me. Love you!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Vicki- I so appreciate your vote! Love you girl

jenal

Posted by @jenal, Aug 17, 2011

Martha is a jewel. The Lord helps her to help others. God bless you Martha for the work He has for you on this earth for His kingdom. JVessels

switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Thank you Jenal.. I love you.

candugh1963

Posted by @candugh1963, Aug 17, 2011

Love this, Martha. You deserve to win. Love you.

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Thank you.. if it's meant to be I'll be there and more connected with those who need it after!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Dana I love you sister. And if I get to go you know this will benefit both of us and so many many more. Social Media is the way

revmike

Posted by @revmike, Aug 17, 2011

God bless sister. If it's God's will, you will get in 🙂 @aheartforgod

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Thank you so very much my #Tworship friend. Your help means tons.

SwitchingGranny likes this
lifeverse

Posted by @lifeverse, Aug 18, 2011

hey Mike, thanks for letting me know via Twitter about this great article. I'm glad I saw your tweet and read the article here....good stuff as always. See you on Twitter, or Facebook, or Google+ or LinkedIn...wherever social media happens to be at the moment.

gailhyatt

Posted by @gailhyatt, Aug 18, 2011

I can't think of anyone who "gets" social media more than you. You have such a beautiful vision for helping others! You go girl!

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

God Bless you Gail.. if this is meant to be - I'll get the "likes" I need. I'm up from just 1 when I woke this morning.

SwitchingGranny likes this
coreybuffett

Posted by @coreybuffett, Aug 18, 2011

if other people in this world had the Can Do attitude you have this would would be a LOT better place.. Keep it up !

p.s. you got my vote 🙂

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Corey.. thank you so much- you've been an divine encouragement in my life

rnsheets

Posted by @rnsheets, Aug 18, 2011

Martha Garrett is a blessing to all who have met her on the Internet; Twitter, Facebook, Google +, etc. What she learned from personal experience in her life has already affected people all over the world and will continue to do so.

She is a Barnabas to all those who have been diagnosed with MS and now with people who have Parkinson's.

She is a Godsend.

SwitchingGranny likes this
switchinggranny

Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

Thank you! Ron w/o Social Media we wouldn't know we were siblings 🙂

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