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Cause and Effects: The Power of Parent Blogging

Whether you blog or not, you’re obviously familiar with the practice (see: you’re reading one). Let’s assume that this makes you “in the know.” It’s not rocket surgery.

Like any culture (subculture?) the blogging community and its water cooler/time suck, Twitter, marches to the beat of its own drummer boy. However, in this case it’s more like its own drumline and the battery is marching all over the field.

What? Drumline is a good movie and you know it.

The point is that it’s a community of extremes. It is vast, yet intimate. It is full of cliques, yet tightly-knit. It is full of anonymity and celebrity. It is people with much in common and more often, nothing. Also, blogs.

Recently two friends of mine that I’ve had the pleasure of writing with at the popular site DadCentric, have managed to herd together the online parenting community (like herding drunk cats) to rally their support in fighting the things that should be fought, namely diseases without a cure that threaten our children.

The online parenting community is very supportive.

Kevin McKeever (Always Home and Uncool) started his battle a few years ago when his young daughter, nearly three at the time, was diagnosed with Juvenile Myositis. They’ve been fighting ever since.

Juvenile Myositis (JM) is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. It’s rare, affecting approximately 2-4 children per million, but it’s also a source of suffering and, too often, death. Bottom line, Juvenile Myositis shouldn’t exist.

Kevin used his standing as a well-known “daddy blogger” to inspire others in helping JM win $250,000 from the Pepsi Refresh Project. That’s $250,000 that will go straight, 100 percent, into finding a cure.

How did Kevin do it? He didn’t do it alone. He and his wife contacted everybody, everywhere, and explained their cause, and they didn’t just ask people for help, they told them how to do it. This is huge. I’m a firm believer that people will always do more if they know how, where or when to do it.

And they did.

The internet rallied and now JM is $250,000 closer to going away forever.

Ryan Marshall (Pacing the Panic Room) has a little boy with Smith Magenis Syndrome. As Ryan says in his article on Fast Company, the disease “manifests itself with a laundry list of symptoms that range from mild and manageable to nightmarish.” Ryan decided to do something.

Ryan and his wife found a community of like-minded parents called Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith Magenis Syndrome (PRISMS), and together they created a charity to fight the disease.

Using his background in the music business Ryan decided to create something that his friends, the parent bloggers, would be sure to love—a kid album for parents. Calling upon some musicians that he knew (still does!) he was able to create an album that fit the bill, Do Fun Stuff.

Enter the online parenting community. Ryan was able to harness the power of his fellow bloggers and Twitter-addicts to spread the word about the album, its release and the cause that it was benefiting.

It debuted at number one on iTunes.

The online parenting community is very supportive.

What Kevin and Ryan achieved—and more importantly, strive to continue, is not new to the blogging world. There are example after example, some of them well-documented and publicized, in which this community of many have acted as one to help their members in need.

It’s a good thing, this group of parents connected by tubes, tweets and the insight of one Al Gore. It’s a powerful machine and it has a beautiful heart.

The battery may be scattered, but we’ve got the beat.

And the beat goes on.

Originally published on Whit Honea


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