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After Effects: Giving Back Is Good for You
Date:5/15/2008

CarePages.com members demonstrate the power of altruism; helping others

relieves one's own health issues

CHICAGO, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Meet Cindy Zamirowski, a 56-year-old breast cancer survivor who less than a month after getting the "cancer free" thumbs up from her physician, stepped off the curb to raise funds for cancer research in the 5K "Y-Me Race to Empower" in Chicago.

The Bolingbrook mom of three and grandma of three rallied her team of 16 angels at her side and 117 of her sixth grade students on the sidelines to raise more than $4,500 for breast cancer research. That was only a start to her now lifelong plan to help others through their cancer journeys.

Zamirowski's altruism underscores what goes on behind the scenes every day among the more than 3 million members of the CarePages.com community. Many find that after or during a health occurrence they benefit emotionally and physically by unselfishly reaching out to others facing a health crisis.

Joana deBelkadi, a bereavement counselor in Santa Cruz, CA, for example, overcame colorectal cancer and now offers support and hope to children battling cancer. And Sarah Doyle, a suburban Boston mom, joined Mothers of Omphaloceles, a support group that meets online, after her son beat tremendous odds and overcame the usually fatal birth defect.

"We see this over and over again among our CarePages members," says Dr. Sharon Langshur, co-founder of CarePages.com, an online community that helps people cope with the emotional aspects of a health challenge. "Going through a health occurrence can be a life-changing experience that transforms people and prompts them to want to give back and help others."

Recent research commissioned by CarePages demonstrates that giving back is an integral part of the community experience, and Langshur has seen it play out in many ways. She offers her insights with these tips for giving back after a health occurrence:

-- Giving Back is Good for You. People find there are "feel good"

benefits for doing something as simple as posting a note of support

for someone going through a healthcare experience.

-- Share Your Experience. Posting on their CarePage or sending an e-mail,

card or message of encouragement can be powerfully inspiring and

supporting.

-- Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Start small by just doing something

nice for someone else.

-- Volunteer Your Time for a Worthwhile Cause. Numerous healthcare

organizations and projects in your neighborhood could use your help,

if even for only a few hours a week or month.

-- Raise Money for a Cause: There are myriad 5K walks, runs and organized

events in communities throughout the country to raise funds for

research to overcome disease. Consider rallying friends and family

and hitting the streets to help. Langshur, her family and the

CarePages staff joined thousands of others in the Chicago Y-Me walk

this month.

-- Raise Awareness. Use your CarePage or someone else's to create

awareness of a specific condition or a fundraiser being held to

support research for that cause.


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SOURCE CarePages.com
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