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About DailyStrength: Why We Do It
Those whom we support hold us up in life.
- Marie Ebner von Eschenbach
A letter from one of DailyStrength's original co-founders.
In January 1991, as a junior at Tufts University, I decided to travel through Europe for a semester with just a backpack, a few friends and a guidebook. This was before email and the Internet, so my connection to home and family was limited to rare, expensive and brief phone calls.
It was on one of these calls that I found out that my cousin, Andrew Kirsch, had been admitted to Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center with advanced liver cancer. Andrew was 19, a year younger than me, and he lived nearby, so we'd spent many of our weekends and summers together.
We'd found out about his cancer a couple of years prior, just before his high school graduation. When I saw him, I generally avoided discussing the topic, as it just terrified me. So when he left college to undergo chemotherapy, my family went to his side, but I didn't have the courage to be there. I wanted to say so much, but I was completely unprepared and unable to deal with someone so close being so seriously ill.
I never saw Andrew again. He died in April 1991, and I found out in a phone booth in Florence, Italy. All I've got left are photos and memories, both of which are fading as we mark the 15th year of his death.
Five years later, in 1996, I joined Yahoo, Inc., as a product manager. My job was to build "community products" - websites that would harness the power of the internet to enable people to communicate with both new friends and old. It was there that I met Josh DeFord and Lars Nilsen, my partners on DailyStrength. The three of us played an important role in making Yahoo the Web's biggest destination by creating new services to enable folks to communicate with loved ones and new friends - Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Photos, Yahoo Message Boards, GeoCities, Yahoo Groups - that affected the lives of tens of millions of people.
Today, the internet is awash in communities - social networks like MySpace, blogs, home pages and more - that serve teens and kids quite well. But what about the rest of us? While there's tons of health and wellness-related information out there, it's still far too difficult to find simple community tools to enable adults facing serious life challenges to communicate with friends, family and people going through the same thing.
DailyStrength was built to enable people facing life challenges to:
a) simply and easily communicate their progress with friends, family, supporters, and have those people respond with encouragement and help.
b) find others facing the same circumstances, and exchange experiences, treatments and even hugs within a safe community setting.
We've developed many unique, customized features to serve our users, including:
Ultimately, the success of DailyStrength is in your hands. We've created the tools, but it's the members that make our communities come alive.
I regret that I couldn't be there for Andrew, but I hope that in some small way, DailyStrength can be there for you.
Thanks for checking out our site.