I can’t imagine what it must have been like for families years ago when the internet didn’t exist. For many, the diagnosis of a disorder or disease results in individuals and families feeling alone. They spend a lot of time in hospitals and doctors offices struggling with a sense of helplessness. It also happens in rural areas where the closest neighbor may be half a mile away. The internet has allowed people from across the country and around the world to come together and share their stories. It is also how people uncover helpful information that leads to better outcomes. Laws have been introduced and treatments developed because like minded, determined people have met online and joined one another to create change.
When Livy was born, one of the first things we did was to go online and search for information. We also looked for families that had experienced something similar to what was unfolding in our lives. A rather interesting interaction I had was with the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, before he was Prime Minister. His son, Ivan, was similar to Livy. So I reached out to him, asked a few questions, offered some words from a father to a father, and wished him well. He responded with gratitude and some words of wisdom. When we share a traumatic experience, we become close no matter the distance, nationality, or stature.
Groups on social media and websites that exist to share stories and situations can be vital to feeling connected and knowing you are not facing your situation alone. Technology can be abused in many areas. That is definitely a possibility. But I am grateful for the ease with which we can stay close to loved ones. It’s also one of the best ways to be enlightened, informed, inspired, and motivated by others.