I am currently a member of five or six Facebook groups around the world that support Acoustic Neuroma patients and their loved ones. There are more than three dozen such groups right now. Some are large, some small, some open to the public, some closed, meaning you have to be added before you can read and add posts.
I am pretty sure that the majority of these groups were NOT around when I was diagnosed in 2009.
Before there was Facebook, there was the ANA Forum. When I was diagnosed, it fortunately led me to find a group of people who had traveled this path before me. The people I “met” gave me hope, inspired me with their strength, and comforted me with their support. Also, it remains a great option for those who are Facebook-averse.
I don’t know what there was before the Forum. Probably a black hole of isolation.
I felt compelled to say something, as we reach the end of the 2016 ANAwareness week.
In 2015, just a short year ago, I had a whole lot of time and energy to put towards having my community share in this event, and Mayor Kelli Linville even declared the first ANAwareness week in Bellingham.
In the past 30+ years, so much has changed and continues to change with diagnosis and treatment of Acoustic Neuromas.
To celebrate the close of the first ANniversary of ANAwareness week in Bellingham, I could not be more proud to celebrate being a part of of my community and our official (and unofficial but always welcome) local support group members and participants, and those around the world who are continuously inspiring me with their energy and commitment to community.