The Power of Social Networking….

Before I left for Vegas anytime I was asked what I was looking forward to, I quickly responded meeting Jeremy Cowart and sitting through his class. Jeremy is the founder of Help Portrait, which I love so dearly! He is such a real and generous soul in the world of photography. So after I sat through his class I waited til all the attendees talked to him and then I went and introduced myself. I shared with him how much I loved his talk and how much I appreciated him as a person and a photographer. As I was walking away it crossed my mind I should let him know how important social media and him had been just the previous year before.

In November of 2010 we got the call that no one wants to get. Chris’ oldest brother had been diagnosed with AML (Leukemia). His cancer was severe and aggressive and needed to be treated immediately and would need a bone marrow transplant.  The doctors quickly suggested having the siblings tested to see if they were a match. Chris’ sister, Dana, was a half match but for the best chance of his body accepting the transplant the doctors knew a 100% match would give him the best odds. For months family and friends reached out to all available sources to convince people to register with Be the Match. The process was easy and simple.  Once you filled out an information form you were sent a package with swabs that were used to swab your check, then you returned them in the envelope provided. From there all donors are put in a national registry to see if you are a match to a bone marrow recipient. Months passed and several chemo treatments later there were still no match. Our family was desperate for help. On facebook I posted about Chad’s journey and all my friends were so recpetive but I felt I could do more. So I took to my blog and poured out my heart about Chad and his need for a transplant. On a typical day my blog can receive anywhere from 20 to on occasion a few 100 hits. After I finished the post I thought to myself how can I get this particular post in front of a mass audience and something struck me.  I have a twitter account that I occasionally play with but some of the people I follow have HUGE amounts of followers. I quickly glanced through my list and thought who has a huge audience and a heart to always help. At that moment I saw a tweet come through from with Jeremy’s name. I quickly said a prayer and tweeted Jeremy asking him to retweet my link concerning my brother in law who was in need of a bone marrow transplant. Because his followers were so huge and I knew he got tons of tweets I wasn’t even sure he would see my request.  But then a miracle happened, I got this tweet…

 My heart dropped and leaped all at the same time. Because of that one tweet, my post had the chance to reach over 40,000 people at one time. I couldn’t believe it, it had worked!!! Within minutes Jeremy ‘s followers had jumped on the band wagon and were retweeting my link. People I had never met were tweeting me and sending me private messages that they were praying for our family, thinking of our family, sharing our message, but more importantly sending off to be a part of the registry. My heart leaped again and I thought why stop here.  I quickly went through my list and tweeted my message and link to not just my friends but anyone on my list that I thought would share my message.  Again in astonishment people from everywhere where tweeting about Chad.  Within the next 24 hours I saw retweets from Bebo Norman, Chase Jarvis, Zack Arias, Dane Sanders, Chris Medina from American Idol, Mary Marantz, Sidewalk Prophets, Zach & Jody Gray, Bobbi from Bobbi and Mike… the list could go on and on. Within the short span of 24 hours my original tweet and message was shared over 100 times and after some quick calculations I figured out my message had been given a chance to be seen by an audience of over 300,000 people. For several days I watched the stats on my blog, that one post was getting close to 1000 hits a day.  But better yet the messages continued to come of well wishes and people registering with Be the Match.  Twitter had worked, my message was being heard all over the world and people were responding. In my opinion it was twitter at it’s best!!!
After sharing the story with Jeremy I was moved at how touched he was that social media had been at it’s best. So when he asked me to write this blog I was over the moon!! Not only was I being asked to write a post for someone I respected so much but I was being given another opportunity to share about Be the Match, how a simple cheek swab can help save a person’s life and how super important social media can be and how it really can help!!
Thanks so much Jeremy for all you do!! Your giving is an inspiration that moves me time and time again!! I will always be grateful for the way you used your platform to help our family!!  To see the original post I did about Chad and Be the Match, click here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *