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Social sites great tools to raise awareness

Social networks such as Facebook and othershave become quite the venue for getting the word out to friendsabout the latest trends, what’s going on in your life at the momentand even certain causes.

    I’m guilty. I cruise Facebook several times a week looking forstory ideas and checking up on friends and family. I even usedFacebook as a tool to gather classmates for my recent 30th highschool reunion from Brookhaven High School.

    I’ve also found I can keep up with what’s going on in the lives ofmy numerous nieces and nephews. On those weeks when work and lifeis being hectic, I even can keep up with my children andgrandchildren.

    I know it’s not as conventional as picking up the phone andcalling, but it is a quick way for me to check on them withoutintruding on their busy lives.

    The downside of social networking is some folks want to get too”social.” Some folks seem to want to air every piece of dirtylaundry through the sites and even egg on family feuds by commentsthat are entirely too personal to be aired publicly.

    However, even with the cons, I feel it is still a great place toshare photos and information with multiple people at one time.

    As with my high school reunion, several classmates shared theirphotos from the reunion on our BHS Class of 1981 page or theirpersonal pages. There was no need to circulate a disk withphotos.

    There are even places on the site to set up special events. I’vebeen invited to many birthday parties, showers and otherevents.

    Since I’m a person on the go most of the time, I find it easy tojust log in and check e-mail and Facebook, and then move on tosomething else.

    I recently began a conversation with Ruby Nan Roach Midkiff, ofBrookhaven, when she messaged me about my recent birthday week. Shetoo will be celebrating a birthday on Wednesday and she has a veryspecial request.

    She is asking all of her friends to donate to a special cause: RunFor Lungs in Jackson on Oct. 29.

     She has PulmonaryHypertension, a life-threatening disease of the heart and lungs.The disease is characterized by abnormally high blood pressure inthe lungs, which causes the right side of the heart to work muchharder than it should. There is no cure, but events like the one Ruby Nan is pointing outcan help raise awareness and money for research.

    Ruby Nan has set up a special page where people can donate:http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/rubymidkiff/RunforLungs. Sheis also hoping that some of her runner/walker friends will alsoregister for the run athttp://www.firstgiving.com/PHAssociation/Runforlungs.

    She went several years before her illness received the correctdiagnosis; several years that could have made a difference in howher disease is affecting her everyday life now.

    Currently she is on a new IV medicine called Veletri, which hasonly been approved by the FDA in the past year or so.

    “I have a pump and IV permanently attached to me for the rest of mylife,” Ruby Nan wrote to me. “The side effects of the Veletri arecompared to chemo.”

    Right now, Ruby Nan is adjusting to the side effects of her newmeds and she said hopefully, within the next few weeks she canadjust and get back to her life.

    “Right now I usually have about one good day a week, but I cannever tell when that good day will come,” she added.

    November is PH Awareness Month and Ruby Nan has written a letter toBrookhaven Mayor Les Bumgarner chronicling her bout with thedisease and asking the mayor and the city to help raise awarenessof Pulmonary Hypertension by signing a proclamation during themonth.

    Ruby Nan, I wish you well on your birthday and I hope a cure for PHis found soon.

    And how was your week?

    Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer can be reached at The DAILYLEADER at (601) 833-6961 ext. 144, by e-mail attbrewer@dailyleader.com or you can write to her at P.O. Box 551,Brookhaven MS 39602.