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.
@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.