A few weeks ago, when I was interviewing Mei Chen for her spotlight as one of the 10-To-Know game changers in the October issue of The Introducer, she mentioned a need to secure feedback from sufferers of chronic illness on her Seenso Platform. My daughter, Jana, who is the Assistant Editor on the magazine, suffers from Crohn's. She is 31 years old and was diagnosed about a year and half ago. Since that time, she's been through a myriad of symptoms and ailments related to the disease...everything from a hump on her neck, back and joint pain, bruise-like rashes, facial eczema, life-altering fatigue, and that's not all. Her disease ultimately caused her to quit her job. She definitely fit the type that Mei wants to meet...and Mei told me so that day on the phone. I made a mental note to introduce them after we had the October issue ready to go live.
While editing the magazine, Jana read Mei's spotlight, immediately realizing the powerful gift Mei's work could be for people like her who have a daily battle to maintain a reasonable life. I made the introduction and following their conversation this week, I had a call from Jana who was all lit up with excitement. In her words, "do you know how much time Mei's platform is going to save people with chronic illness?" When she was diagnosed, Jana spent hours educating herself on her disease, trying to find answers to the multitude of medical and treatment questions she had. These were questions that needed genuine answers from qualified sources quickly, because, in a young girl's mind, this disease meant an emotional and frustrating departure from the life she once knew.
Jana turned her excitement over Mei's platform into action. You, see, Jana belongs to the Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, and has been blogging about lifestyle changes for women with Crohn's. She's right now working on a blog posting about Seenso and her conversation with Mei. Jana is also trained by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation as a support-group facilitator and started a group in her area this year, but, her true passion and talent is in patient advocacy. She knows that getting the right information quickly is the best first step for a patient. She will be sharing Mei's platform with her group as a resource, so that Mei can achieve her goal of securing more patient feedback.
This is exactly how good networking should happen. As simple as it may seem, it is what I hoped for when I started The Introducer magazine -- to facilitate connections that meet business goals, fill gaps, and advance good works. The fact that this connection hit home and that I was able to observe the "good work" firsthand doesn't diminish its importance. If the connection is meaningful to either or both party, then it is significant.