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Groenke
@joycegroenke

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Joined: Feb 04, 2011

Social Media Summit Scholarship Essay – Martha Garrett

Posted by @joycegroenke, 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.

Reply


elagrew
@elagrew

Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @elagrew, Aug 17, 2011

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


SwitchingGranny
@switchinggranny

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
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


LifeVerse
@lifeverse

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Joined: Aug 18, 2011
Posted by @lifeverse, Aug 18, 2011

Another Twitter friend…it feels like family here!


jeffmccord
@jeffmccord

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Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @jeffmccord, Aug 17, 2011

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


SwitchingGranny
@switchinggranny

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
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

Liked by LifeVerse


rlmayhan
@rlmayhan

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Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @rlmayhan, Aug 17, 2011

This is a great mission.


SwitchingGranny
@switchinggranny

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
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

Liked by LifeVerse


LifeVerse
@lifeverse

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Joined: Aug 18, 2011
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
@davecurlee

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Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @davecurlee, Aug 17, 2011

Great story!


SwitchingGranny
@switchinggranny

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

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


sbrookeb1
@sbrookeb1

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Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @sbrookeb1, Aug 17, 2011

You so deserve this Martha!


SwitchingGranny
@switchinggranny

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

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


JudyK
@judyk

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Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @judyk, Aug 17, 2011

Wonderful, Martha! You are such a blessing!


SwitchingGranny
@switchinggranny

Posts: 60
Joined: Aug 15, 2011
Posted by @switchinggranny, Aug 18, 2011

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


For Wellness
@forwellness

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Joined: Aug 17, 2011
Posted by @forwellness, Aug 17, 2011

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

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