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If you're reading these words, then you care about health empowerment. That’s why I am thinking about you, the EmpowHER community, as I head to New York for a live national television discussion.
One of the most popular national daytime talk shows is ABC’s The View. Most of the time guests are big name celebrities, and the show features them talking with Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepperd. But this coming Monday, May 2, 2011, they’ll include people like you and me, people who actively use the Internet for health information and community.
I will be a guest along with my dear friend, Beth Mays, and her 11-year-old son Charlie, who live in Houston. I recently published a breakthrough book: The Web-Savvy Patient. It caught the eye of The View’s executive producer, and before I knew it a segment producer was calling. She read the book the other day and, while she loved what she read, she was saddened that she didn’t have this guide to navigating medical information on the Web before several family members became seriously ill. I am sure Barbara Walters and the other women will be prompted by the producer to ask some challenging questions on how we can help our loved ones – and their doctors – with our own online research. I am eager to provide answers. I believe connecting with the right information online saved my life when I was a leukemia patient. (I have been in full remission since 2000.)
Mays from Houston has her own story, told in the book and live on The View on Monday. She has four children - Charlie is number three. When he was an infant he had terrible and continuing gastrointestinal problems. Mays went from doctor to doctor trying to get Charlie relief and answers about the cause. At one point the doctors considered her a hysterical mom. But she was just fighting for her child. She finally dragged the rare diagnosis out of one of the doctors, headed straight for the Web, connected with moms of other kids with the condition around the world and got answers and support from them.