Doctor tweets to help mankind

Dr. Krupali Tejura
This week, at a Los Angeles meetup of Twitter users, I had the pleasure of hearing a woman speak about how she's using social media for the greater good. I've been connected with Dr. Krupali Tejura on Twitter for awhile now, and have traded tweets with her from time to time. However, up until Monday, I didn't fully realize how she was maximizing Twitter to help her patients.

Now, to be clear, this doesn't mean that I ever want to see Dr. Tejura professionally. She's an oncologist (yep, that's a cancer doctor) and I hope no one in my life ever has to enlist her services. However, I am thrilled to know that there are doctors like her out there. She really cares and has used her online presence to help her patients.

Here are two examples I'll share from her talk:

1) One of Dr. Tejura's patients had her cancer spread to her bones, which rendered her unable to walk. She was wheelchair bound, with only months to live. She and the patient talked about how fun it would be to dance on The Ellen Show (for those who don't watch, Ellen dances with her audience in the first segment of every show). Dr. Tejura tried to get her patient tickets to the show, but came up dry. In the meantime, the woman was making progress with radiation treatment and began to use a walker. Soon, she could walk with a cane. At this point, Dr. Tejura turned to Twitter. She sent a tweet to her followers asking if they could help, they retweeted it, and soon Dr. Tejura had VIP passes to the show to give her patient. This woman would now boogie with Ellen Degeneres herself, thanks to Dr. Tejura and the community of Twitter.

2) Dr. Tejura shared another story about a terminal patient who was sad that she'd never get to see the Steelers play. As she finished telling the tale to all of us at the event, the conference sponsor, Jeff Pulver, donated frequent flier miles to send the woman and her husband to Philadelphia. Another person donated a rental car. Then, the most moving thing happened. A man (who I later learned was Bruce Sallan) rushed the stage to give Dr. Tejura a $20 bill to help sponsor the trip. The audience followed suit and passed up more cash. Within two minutes, Dr. Tejura had more than $400 to help fund her patient's dream. (The next day, Yahoo! even donated money to pay for the hotel!). I was moved to tears and am getting a lump in my throat even as I write about it.

Now, for you naysayers, THAT is the power of social media! You can spread your message of goodwill and hope to others, you can really connect with people, and even though social media starts on the web, those relationships translate to the real world. Those of us who use social media, and really get it, are a community. We rally together, we support one another, and when we all come together--we are powerful!

I don't know about you, but in my entire life I haven't ever had a doctor who I felt really saw me. The doctor gets me in and gets me out. He or she doesn't know me, care about me, or even really take a second to see me as a person. I wish there were more doctors like Dr. Tejura out there. Thank you, Krupali, for reminding us to be human and kindhearted. We all have the ability to bring more good into the world, so let's be sure to do it.

NOTE: As I was linking to Dr. Tejura's blog, I noticed she wrote her own account of the evening. Check out her thoughts on the power of community by clicking HERE.


  1. Fantastic recap Amber! Krupali is indeed a gem. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great article! It's truly heart-warming to know there are people like this out there. Twitter is such an incredible tool, no doubt about it.

  3. WOW~!! What an inspiring story!! So THAT was what those Ellen tweets were for! Social media is so powerful that you can be a part of something and not even fully understand you're helping someone until after the fact.

    Dr. Tejura is a magnificent example of what a doctor should ideally be. Great job on this post, Amber, it brought tears to my eyes, too!
    Anita Nelson @ModelSupplies

  4. Great recap, Amber. Krupali and her ruby slippers are truly magical. She's an inspiration to ALL doctors. I hope they are listening. Working in this field I've noticed that the healthcare industry in general could achieve so much greatness with social media but it seems they are afraid to forge ahead. If you and Krupali continue spreading the word, things may actually change. @cyuskoff

  5. I love your recap and think I will refer to it when I do a Social Media presentation soon. Krupali will be an inspiration beyond her own arena.

    We hear a lot of bellyaching about ROI when it comes to Social Media yet I don't know how one could measure the spontaneity of generosity from the Twitterverse.

    Happy to be part of your world,

  6. Nicely done. It was a special night.

  7. What a fantastic piece! I've now following Dr. Tejura! Thanks.

  8. Amber - thanks for the mention and the reminder of what a great evening/day it was!


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