First this my absolute favorite picture of the year, from a slideshow of Photos of the Day on the Christian Science Monitor:


An article in today’s New York Times highlights something I already know from the blogs of my online buddies like Gitzengirl, Sara Frankl, who has Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints.  Sorry all my other blog buddies but hers is my favorite online read, go here .

From the article by Clair Cain Miller:

Online Social Networks Bridge Gaps for Chronically Ill

“A former model who is now chronically ill and struggles just to shower says the people she has met online have become her family. A quadriplegic man uses the Web to share tips on which places have the best wheelchair access, and a woman with multiple sclerosis says her regular Friday night online chats are her lifeline.

For many people, social networks are a place for idle chatter about what they made for dinner or sharing cute pictures of their pets. But for people living with chronic diseases or disabilities, they play a more vital role.

“It’s really literally saved my life, just to be able to connect with other people,” said Sean Fogerty, 50, who has multiple sclerosis, is recovering from brain cancer and spends an hour and a half each night talking with other patients online.

People fighting chronic illnesses are less likely than others to have Internet access, but once online they are more likely to blog or participate in online discussions about health problems, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation.

“If they can break free from the anchors holding them down, people living with chronic disease who go online are finding resources that are more useful than the rest of the population,” said Susannah Fox, associate director of digital strategy at Pew and author of the report.

They are gathering on big patient networking sites like PatientsLikeme, HealthCentral, Inspire, CureTogether and Alliance Health Networks, and on small sites started by patients on networks like Ning and Wetpaint.”

Link to the Pew Center Report “Chronic Disease and the Internet”

I don’t have a debilating diease, unless you count having fewer working brain cells then most people 🙂 .  Still one of the favorite parts of my day is spent with my online friends,  check my blogroll.

The first time I logged on to the Internet I was amazed at this evergrowing online community, which is bringing the world together.  Okay, maybe my first stop was “Hot Babes In Bikinis”.  🙂

I have made friends with people all over the world, from Australia to South Africa.  People I would have never had the opportunity to meet.

How has the Internet help you?

James Taylor – “You’ve Got A Friend”