Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
JOHN: Jen, what brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect and motivates you to take part in the community?
@sandytoes14: I enjoy doing research. I also believe in being educated in illnesses and conditions that I have, so I subscribed to Mayo Clinic's newsletter. One day I noticed a blurb about Connect and wanted to find other people like myself who have a desire to give and receive support on their health problems. What I found was a warm, welcoming community where I felt comfortable sharing things that I couldn't share with family and friends who didn't understand what I was going through.
JOHN: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@sandytoes14: Connect is a place where I feel safe to share how I feel about my health conditions without being judged.
JOHN: What groups do you participate in?
@sandytoes14: I mostly participate in Chronic Pain and Bones, Joints & Muscles. Sometimes you will catch me in Sleep Health. That’s based upon how much sleep I actually get in a night. The less sleep, the less sense I make!
JOHN: Who has been a special connection for you on Connect?
@sandytoes14: That’s an easy one to answer: my fellow volunteer mentor teammates and moderators. @hopeful33250 always has a kind word, @johnbishop helps at a moment’s notice, @JustinMcClanahan is the one who checks in “just because” and @colleenyoung is much like the beautiful little hummingbirds I love to watch at my feeders. She is everywhere at once bringing joy and knowledge.
I also am very involved with those who have fibromyalgia on Connect, and I enjoy sharing ideas with other members about distracting oneself from chronic pain.
JOHN: What surprised you the most about Connect?
@sandytoes14: The Connect community itself surprised me: the members reaching out to find out about their own health concerns and sharing what they have learned with others, and the support and strength they give each other to be better advocates for themselves.
JOHN: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@sandytoes14: Phone calls from my kids make me feel refocused. There is something about unexpected video chats from my daughter in Germany and a quick “I love you Mom — I’m on my lunch break” call from my son that get to me.
JOHN: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@sandytoes14: Sitting near the ocean, with my husband, listening to the laugh of the gulls as the waves lap up on the shoreline is a favorite. I generally have a light-read book in my bag and my perpetual cup of coffee — Dunkin Donuts’ is preferred — in my hand.
JOHN: What food can you simply not resist?
JOHN: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
@sandytoes14: Sandra Bullock: Beauty and Brains
JOHN: What do you love about where you live or vacation?
@sandytoes14: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. My husband and I lived on Ford Island for nearly five years for his last assignment in the U.S. Navy. Every day was like a vacation.
JOHN: Puppies or kittens?