You may have noticed we have been promoting our upcoming TweetChat on May 14 from 8-9pm EST. It’s simple to participate through TweetChat.com. Log into TweetChat.com with your Twitter account information. Enter the hashtag #TreatDiariesChat and automatically the service will list in chronological order all tweets that are using the same hashtag. It’s easy to join in from there!
Treatments Diaries #TreatDiariesChat (TweetChats) are held every Tuesday night and offer exceptional information, support and stories from people who have been touched by many different diseases. We’ve been part of a few of them and decided to introduce you to the amazing woman behind TreatmentDiaries.com and Tuesday night #TreatDiariesChat.
Meet Amy Ohm, she is the CEO of TreatmentDiairies.com and today she has taken the time to tell us about herself and how she started this resource that has helped so many people.
Eric D. Davis Sarcoma Foundation (EDDF) : Tell us about yourself …
Amy Ohm (AO): Sure – My name is Amy Ohm and I am the Founder and CEO of TreatmentDairies.com. A personal diagnosis with cancer inspired Td as a result of searching my diagnosis within minutes of receiving the news and finding mostly clinical perspectives. It would of made a big difference in how I was processing the news and what I did next if I had found the person(s) who was living with the condition and confirmation that I was not alone on this journey. Family and friends are great, but there is no better medicine than finding that person who can relate without having to answer a dozen or so questions to help them better understand your fears, concerns and new reality.
I live in Northern VA, but am originally from Southern California. I am married to my college sweetheart and we have two amazing children. The oldest is a US Soldier deploying later this year and his sister is just finishing up middle school. We are a very close family and spend time on the water, soccer fields and enjoying time by the pool. Life is good!
EDDF: What did you do professionally before you started Treatment Diaries?
AO: I have been in technology sales for the last 20+ years selling enterprise software to healthcare, pharma and banking. I’ve worked for startups and large corporations and enjoy the thrill of starting something from scratch and making it grow. It’s especially rewarding to do something that helps people.
EDDF: Can you tell us about your experience with cancer?
AO: I am very fortunate in that my cancer was caught early. I was treated surgically and my nodes were clear. I have had no evidence of disease for 9 years and it has changed my life for the better. I now appreciate life more and focus on preventative measures in support of good health. As a mother and a wife this is a big job. Knowledge is power and sharing my story has saved many lives. I use my cancer experience as a way to promote positive outcomes and hope for those on the journey.
EDDF: What were the different ways you expressed your emotions and feelings at that time period in your life?
AO: My first emotion was anger. I was not the person who was supposed to get cancer – this was not a part of my plan. I was too focused and stubborn to see the reality of the situation. The next emotion was the fear of what might happen and the humility of being helpless to a medical condition. I became empowered to live and make a difference based on my personal experience in bringing a positive outcome to the lives of others.
EDDF: Tell us how you describe Treatment Diaries
AO: Treatment Diaries is making Social private for those on a health related journey – anonymously connecting individuals affected by any illness through online health related conversations captured in personal diaries. REAL stories of people living with various medical conditions, searching for a private place to share treatment options and learn about their health through others.
EDDF: How would you suggest someone first get involved with Treatment Diaries?
AO: Treatment Diaries really is for everyone because even if you don’t have a medical condition of your own – everyone knows someone newly diagnosed, living with an illness or caring for a loved one. This said, it’s a wonderful place to learn about those conditions we are curious about through actual patient stories. Joining is simple and takes seconds. Once you have an account searching the diaries is one of the first things users to do to get a sense of what is being shared about a particular condition. You can search medications, treatments and key words specific to a diagnosis. This is extremely powerful – it’s a lot like the needle in the haystack analogy of finding that person who is just like you. For example, someone with a diagnosis of breast cancer might have to take Taxol. On Treatment Diaries they can simply type “taxol” into the search bar and within seconds retrieve 1,000’s of personal stories related to this treatment. Once they find the diary or diaries they care about most they can scribble in a particular diary to share encouragement and perspective, send a private message to the individual or simply learn through the words of those with actual experience. Unlike WebMD or PatientsLikeMe where the data is clinical in nature, these are the actual stories of those living with a medical condition and their personal experiences.
EDDF: Why did you start #TreatDiairiesChat?
AO: The #treatdiarieschat was implemented as a way to promote resources out to the communities we serve. We have a big job to do with so many living with chronic illness, mental health conditions and rare diseases this is just one more way to share the goodness that takes place every day on Td and those organization and services available to them to help them live well despite a medical condition. We have a lot of fun learning and sharing the goodness that is being done to make life easier for those in need. We are looking forward to our chat with your foundation on 5/14 @8pm ET. It’s easy to join via www.tweetchat.com using #treatdiarieschat to join the conversation.
EDDF: What have been some of your most impactful #TreatDiairiesChat s?
AO: There have been many, in fact here is a link. We’ve had the honor of tweeting about organ donation, childhood cancer, rare diseases like scleroderma, the benefits of hospice, autism and many more. It’s been amazing to see the social alignment with privacy and how important this is no matter the condition or role in navigating the journey. People want to be private about their health while remaining social.
EDDF: Anything you would like to add?
AO: We’d like to extend an invitation to come and scribble with us. Create an account today and just start reading and searching the diaries – you’ll love it. You never know when you might need that ”private” social connection to share life. We appreciate all that is being done to support the world of sarcoma through the Eric D. Davis Sarcoma Foundation and will support your mission in any way we can. Together we can make an even bigger difference. Thanks for having us!