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Three Women in Health Crises Go Online to Form Lifelong Friendships : Mothers of Boys with Cancer Find Support, Encouragement and Each Other at CarePages.com
Date:11/6/2008

Last year, Mimi Avery of Texas learned her three-year-old son, Julian, had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball. A half-year earlier in Iowa, Peggy Larson’s son Coleman, just 2 , was diagnosed with the same rare form of cancer, called medulloblastoma. Before that, Michelle Spoonhower of California was told her six-year-old son, Bailey, had stage III Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very aggressive soft muscle tumor.

CHICAGO (Business Wire EON) November 6, 2008 -- Three women. Three states. Three boys facing months of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy. Three families in dire need of support and encouragement as they faced the most difficult challenges of their lives. And one social network, CarePages.com, which became a lifeline to connect them all, and a way to inspire others to help fund pediatric cancer research.

MIMI'S STORY

Through this site, an online community created to ensure that no one goes through a health challenge alone, Mimi and her husband were able to keep Julian's friends, family and loved ones updated on his progress. But they also became part of a worldwide support group of more than 3.5 million members. Just weeks after Julian's page was created, his father posted "The power of thought and prayer for Julian stretches from Guatemala to France to Canada to everywhere in the U.S. and it has lifted us greatly."

Two of those reaching out to the Avery's with prayers and support were Peggy and Michelle, mothers who found each other through CarePages.com. The three women soon moved their online support offline – with phone calls at all hours of the day and even cross-country visits. (Watch video of their visit on YouTube.)Their families have grown close, too, through a bond that grew from online postings from afar.

Mimi's son Julian lost his fight in January 2008, but today Mimi continues to be involved in the community
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