Friday, September 5, 2008

Highlight HEALTH Cancer Research Blog Carnival - Stand Up To Cancer

This post will attempt to cover a host of topics, so I apologize if it rambles a bit.

First off I was very flattered today to be included in a Cancer Research Blog Carnival on Highlight HEALTH. I checked my email at 3 am while feeding Gray this morning and there was an email from Walter Jessen (author of Highlight HEALTH, neuro-oncology research scientist and bioinformatician) stating he included me in the Carnival.

This is significant for a few reasons:

1st: The Carnival is in support of Stand Up To Cancer a fundraiser tonight at 8 PM on ABC, NBC and CBS benefiting Cancer Research. “In 2008, over half a million Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths. Nevertheless, since 2003 the U.S. government’s cancer research budget has been cut every single year”.

Matthew Zachary and Dr. Leonard Sender from I’m Too Young For This! will be in the front row, making sure their voice is heard, as there is barely any funding for young adult cancer research.

2nd: I never thought I would be included in a blog carnival, however my post was added because it is an abstract about a video game improving medical adherence in cancer patients. It made me wonder the reach and importance of my blog posts, and also made me think of what I am doing with this blog. My intentions have changed a few times since creating the blog last year, and they keep evolving each month.

3rd: I “met” Walter Jessen on Twitter. I don’t remember how exactly, but I was following someone who was following him, so I started following him and he reciprocated with a follow. We have communicated a few times over tweeets about various topics. I count this as one of the reasons I was included in the Carnival.

I have been working on a blog post about Twitter for health, and how I use it. This is a prime example. I never would have have crossed paths with Walter outside of Twitter – he is in Ohio and although in a somewhat related field, I probably would not have sought him out. I could have discovered his Highlight HEALTH blog, posted some comments and emailed him – but this still relates to social media and its importance in connecting people of like minds.

To further exalt Twitter, I have had a few “conversations” with MDs all over the country about medication adherence, hospital readmit rates, and other front line problems they face with patients. These communications would not have taken place without Twitter.

Another Twitter praise is for conference coverage. I cannot go to Medicine 2.0 in Toronto (started Wednesday), and there is a presentation by the NextHealth team I really want to see. Luckily I am following a few people who are there, and twittering the event. Of course I will read blog posts, see the Slideshare, and probably speak with the presenters next week, but Twitter brings an immediacy that I cannot find elsewhere.

Of course you can also mention the disaster coverage, and the DNC, RNC coverage – Twitter breaks all the news before others. But that is further off the topic.

In conclusion, I am very honored to be included in the Blog Carnival and hope to have something more substantial to add next time; watch and donate to Stand Up To Cancer and support I'm To Young For This!; and join the conversation on Twitter - you can follow me.

Here are Walter's final thoughts from his post on Highlight HEALTH:

The Cancer Research Blog Carnival is looking for future hosts. You can find both the hosting schedule and past editions at the Cancer Research Blog Carnival website .

For more information on the U.S. investment in cancer research, you can read the NCI’s plan and budget proposal for fiscal year 2009.

No comments: