|Dr. Krupali Tejura|
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.