The Healing Power of Blogging

July 24, 2009 at 8:11 am Leave a comment

Chelsea Marshall, US Ski Team

Chelsea Marshall, US Ski Team

This morning I’m reflecting on some very good feelings about a young man I’ve never met, but to whom I’ve grown close over the past week. His name is Cody Marshall. He is on the U.S. Ski Team. Last week, Cody suffered a devastating (non-ski related) injury, and has been in a drug-induced coma while doctors treat him for head trauma. During all of this, his friends and family have been by his side – which is not the unusual part of this story.

The Marshall family set up a blog for Cody and they have been posting to it several times a day. Ski Racing magazine reported on the blog so that fans and supporters were aware of it. The first I heard of it came from a Facebook friend, a local ski coach, who sent a message out within a day of the accident. I have been reading the blog regularly, sending my own comments, and praying for the Marshall family every time I receive an e-mail alert of a new post.

Cody is making progress. He is opening his eyes, responding to pinch tests (which his sister and brothers and friends seem to be having some fun with) and showing other signs of improvement. It sounds like the medical staff have been amazing, and they’ve provided detailed explanations of every drug and technique they’re using on Cody – which have been included in the blogs. Along with these reports, I’m reading about the friends who are at bedside, and what they’re doing to support Cody and his family – particularly his sister, Chelsea (a World Cup racer, herself; pictured above), who I’m pretty sure hasn’t left Cody for more than a couple hours at a time.

This brings me to what I believe is the unusual part of this story. I barely knew of the existence of these people two weeks ago, other than what I read about their racing accomplishments. Today, they are part of my daily routine as I check on Cody’s progress, share a little of the emotion felt by his inner circle, and do all that I can do, which is to send my support to them through prayer and blog comments. That may not seem like much to some. But I know that if I were in the position of the Marshalls right now, I’d truly appreciate these contributions. And, according to their blog, they do.

These days I spend most of my time helping people understand the practical purpose of social media. Granted, many people get it; or else it wouldn’t be so popular. But I’m really looking forward to the day when businesses have figured out that they can use these techniques to connect to the emotions of their markets by sharing information in a genuine and unselfish way. The Marshall family – though their objective is quite different from the typical business – provide a great example of how to be sensitive to the needs of their audience, and as a result, have likely grown their audience beyond their wildest imagination.

Check out Cody’s blog, and join us in helping him through his recovery.

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