Category: blog carnival

2011 may be winding down, but the world of Health Activism is going strong. Let’s power through these last few months together and connect through a few interactive activities to get our advocacy at its best before we head into 2012.


As you may know, November is National Blog Posting Month or NaBloPoMo. It’s a month dedicated to the art of blogging, taking it to a new, challenging level by pushing all participants to blog every single day of the month. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?


In light of NaBloPoMo (and the success of our own awesome HAWMC event this part April) we are doing our own Health Blogger NaBloPoMo – a full month of health blogging! And we’ve got a bunch of great prompts catered specifically to online health leaders, bloggers, and anyone who wants to try their hand at blogging about health.


Join us starting November 1, 2011 in posting each and every day – about health – to share what makes you a patient advocate, dedicated leader, and all-around awesome empowered person.


Are you up for the challenge? 30 posts in 30 days – and all the camaraderie (and bragging rights) that come with it! Even if you’re not sure if you want to post every day and simply want to check out all the fun prompts (that cover a range of topics from being a patient, to being a blogger, to simply pondering your existence – you can sign up here! Once you tell us you’re interested – we’ll send you the details, prompts, and ways you can make the most of November!


We can’t wait to blog every day with you and – more importantly – see your thoughts and help you interact with other health bloggers (across conditions!) and make some truly valuable connections.


Feel free to invite your community members and friends to join us for National Health Blog Post Month (#NHBPM) – the more the merrier!

Take me to the prompts! »


(This is a metaphor)

From one of my favorite websites, (

dis·close [dih-sklohz] verb

1. to make known; reveal or uncover: to disclose a secret

2. to cause to appear; allow to be seen; lay open to view: In spring the violets disclose their fragrant petals.

The word “disclose” was first used right around the time of The Renaissance, an era of rebirth: artistic expression, intellectual transformation, and scientific advances. A time when people rose from the darkness of the past centuries and began opening themselves up to a new way of life. Now, whether this is a more romanticized version of what actually happened or not – the idea of a Renaissance from the Dark Ages fits perfectly with our March theme of Health Disclosure (and the upcoming first day of Spring!).

Once you open yourself up, share what you’re going through, and begin to connect with what’s going on around you – you are, in effect, being reborn. This, I would guess, is what many Health Activists felt the very first time they blogged about their condition, talked with fellow patients about common symptoms, or got that first “thank you, you’ve helped me so much” from a member of their communities.

For this month’s Health Activist Blog Carnival, let’s share our disclosure stories, our Health Activist Renaissance moments. Why did you first participate in a forum, support group, or blog? How did it feel to take ownership of your condition and begin to share with others? Was it a Renaissance of sorts or something less dramatic? How has your disclosure shaped your life since?

Write a post telling your disclosure story and why you would encourage others in your community to join you on the other side of disclosure. You could share how your online community helped you be more open, revealing more of yourself and your life. Or how your community has allowed a part of your to be seen, caused something to appear, or presented you open to view, perhaps? How has disclosing in your personal life influenced you?

Why not start with the completing the sentence “I disclose because…” or “I disclosed and…” see where the exercise takes you? If you’re feeling particularly like a spring violet – why not try a video entry this month? And, because we’re talking about the Renaissance so much – if you’re feeling particularly creative – you can make some form of art or poem that tells your disclosure story.

As always, once you’ve written, created, or recorded your entry – share with us! Either here in the comments section or as a link/upload in this discussion in the Health Bloggers Group. At the end of March we will highlight some of your stories and be a lot closer to our goal of creating valuable “disclosure” resources, tips, and advice for Health Activists.

Here’s our HABC graphic for you to add to your post if you’d like:

You were all so creative with February’s HABC – I can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with this month!

In honor of this month’s theme Chronic Conditions and Relationships – our February HABC is: Write a Letter to Your Condition. Sounds a little strange?  It is, because you’re penning these words not to a real person, but to your disease, personified.  Inspired by the old-fashion correspondence of snail mail (or, I suppose, you could be inspired by the art of email), write a letter, a note, a memo addressed to your health.

This is your chance to tell your health what you really think of it, how you really feel … and no holds are barred in this exercise.

Whether you’re writing a letter of love (which may be a challenge) or a note that describes what you’re working on in your communities to help raise awareness for your health condition – the point is to be honest and to examine your emotional ties to your physical health. This could be a great way to check-in with how you’re feeling and work on that first relationship conflict we mentioned in our theme announcementYour Condition vs. Yourself. And, if you want to complete the correspondence – it would be really interesting to reply to yourself from the perspective of your health. What does your health think about your letter? Bonus points if you write two letters this month!

(If you need an example check out the awesome community Dear Thyroid, built around the idea of writing letters to your thyroid.)

Once you’ve written your letter, we hope you’ll share it with our community by leaving a link in this discussion in the Health Bloggers Group. We also hope you’ll post this brand new graphic in your post to show that you’re a participant in the HABC!  (Because who doesn’t like a Ferris Wheel o’ Health Activism?)

If you’re up for the challenge, you can just start by typing out the words, “Dear Health,” and flex your creative muscle!

Like last year, we will have a monthly Health Activist Blog Carnival where members of our community can submit their entries on a theme-specific topic. Going with our January theme month is New Year, New You: Setting Health Activism Goals, our HABC topic is: 3 Fortune Cookies.”

There are a few things that make a fortune cookie so great. First: it’s a bonus for after a delicious meal (who doesn’t like free bonuses?). Second: the awesome crunch sound as you break them open and pull out the tiny slip of paper containing the surprise and mystery: “what will it say?” you wonder. Third: Reading the fortune and mentally applying it to your life. Fourth: Eating that cookie (or, if you’re not a fan – giving the cookie to a friend).

Let’s replicate that process in our Blog Carnival! Pretend you’re writing the slips of paper to yourself or your health community – what do you think (or hope) the future holds? You can use a favorite quote if you’d prefer – and explain how that quote can act as your fortune. If you’re a fan of Dove chocolates and would prefer to write a command (Do this in 2011, self! Always remember this, community!) that’s also an option. And, if you are like I am and enjoy the facts on the inside of Snapple caps – you can use a fact to guide your 3 fortunes. Then, once you’re done – you should treat yourself to a cookie (proverbially or in real life).

>Once you’ve written your 3 fortunes for 2011 – share a link in the comments section of this discussion in the Community’s Health Bloggers Group. We will check back in here at the end of the month and share some of the most creative or inspiring fortunes.

So welcome again to the new year, our new WEGOblog, and your “new you.” Together we’re going to get all set up for a great year – we’ll organize, plan, scheme, and more. If you have your party hat left over from the weekend – now would be a great time to put it back on.

Last year (well, last month!) we asked you what 10 things you liked best about 2010 and you reported back with awesome recaps. You reminded us of your best posts, big milestones, and favorites from your past year in Health Activism.

Check out a few highlights:

Kelly remembered this milestone fondly: “1) American College of Rheumatology Scientific Meeting. Attending the weeklong meeting in Atlanta was a milestone for me, for my blog, and for the RA community. This was the first time a patient attended the meetings as press. However, the week itself was also full of milestones that I cannot easily summarize. There was one special blog post to describe how it affected my perspective: American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting 2010 and a little video telling the highlights: Video: Thoughts from American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2010.”

Janeen‘s #2 of 2010 was: “2. All of the wonderful and moving videos from the Food Allergy Initiative : There is no better way to get your point across than with a moving video that shows everything you are feeling. These videos are truly valuable. So is all the work that FAI does to try to find a cure.”

Amy was proud of “1. The creation of the Mental Health and Social Media Chat on Twitter. (#mhsm) In the beginning of February of 2010, (February 9, 2010 to be exact) I launched, in a solo effort, the #mhsm chat on Twitter. It has continued on every Tuesday evening, now at 9pm Eastern (with only one exception) since. The community has grown and been a great source of conversation, brainstorming, and awareness efforts.”

One of Ellen‘s favorite blog posts of 2010 was “A physician’s 10 commandments Written from the patient’s perspective, this generated quite a few conversations.”

The Sanford Burham science blog recapped their most popular posts here.

And if you missed it – #10 on our WEGO Health Top 10 of 2010 was actually the Health Activist Blog Carnival! If that’s not a meta way to wrap up this post, I don’t know what is!

Thanks to everyone who submitted and to everyone who looked back over 2010 and saw awesome feats of Health Activism!

With the end of the year fast approaching, it’s an ideal time to look back on what the year has meant to you as a Health Activist, and to your communities.

The topic for December’s Health Activist Blog Carnival is simple: Share your Top 10 of 2010.

We hope you’ll use this post as an opportunity to think big and share your community’s achievements and milestones, your favorite posts and discussions (whether started by you, or others!), as well as the best developments for you as a Health Activist!
In addition to featuring some of our favorite submissions at the end of the month, we’ll be sharing items on your Top 10 lists with our Facebook and Twitter followers to highlight the accomplishments of our incredible community of Health Activists – so start thinking about your Top 10 of 2010 today!
First time submitting a post to the Health Activist Blog Carnival? Here’s all you need to do:
  1. Let others know that your post is for the Health Activist Blog Carnival by including the following text at the end of your post: “This post is my December entry in the Health Activist Blog Carnival. If you’re interested in participating too, you can read all about here:
  2. Leave a comment with a link to your entry on this Health Bloggers Discussion – be sure to come back often to check out the latest entries from your fellow Health Activists!
We can’t wait to read (and share!) your successes.

With a little over a week left in our first-ever Health Activist Vlog Contest, we wanted to give you a quick update on some of the fantastic video content we’ve been seeing from our Health Activists. Check out these great Health Activist videos and take a moment to create your own!

We think these vlog entries are all an awesome testament to the power of video in Health Activism and we hope you found them to be as inspiring as we did! Be sure to record and share your own Health Activist video before our contest ends on October 31st!

For full contest details, check out

This month’s Health Activist Blog Carnival is an especially exciting one that offers Health Activists a chance to break into the spotlight by using video!

WEGO Health has partnered with icyou, the Web’s only destination focused solely on bringing you the whole world of healthcare video, to bring you the first ever Health Activist Vlog Contest! Whether you’re new to vlogging or using video in your community is old hat–this contest is for you!

Simply pick one of our topics and get those cameras rolling! Upload your video onto icyou and tag it wegohealth and leave a link on our Blog Carnival discussion post in the Health Bloggers Group. Then share your video with your communities!

Health Activist Vlog Topics:

  • Why are you a Health Activist? What inspires you to Health Activism?
  • Share your social media/internet success story – how has your community improved?
  • If you use video: how has video benefited your online community? If you don’t yet: how would video improve your online community?

Because this Blog Carnival is a bit different from our others, we want to make sure you know how to enter. Check out our Health Activist Vlog Contest page for all the details – and for how you can share the contest with others!

At the end of the month, as always, we’ll feature a few of our favorite submissions. And for this month’s blog carnival, we’re handing out prizes. We will 2 winners to receive an new iPod Touch and 2 winners to receive a new FlipCam! We hope you’ll join us in this month’s Health Activist Blog Carnival and share your thoughts on video.

This month’s Blog Carnival is about the hard times we face as Health Activists.

We know that being a Health Activist isn’t easy – you have so many people looking to you for information, resources, support, and so much more. You’ve got your own health, and your own life, to think about too. We’re all human, and even though Health Activists are the sort who always want to give 110%, sometimes that’s just not possible.

While it may not be an easy topic to discuss, we’re hoping you’ll write a bit this month about how you handle those hard times as a Health Activist.

How do you keep yourself going through a slump or a rough patch? What do you do when your Health Activism has you feeling overwhelmed? How do you bounce back?

Just a reminder, here’s how you submit your entry to the Health Activist Blog Carnival:

  1. Let others know that your post is for the Health Activist Blog Carnival by including the following text at the end of your post: “This post is my August entry in the Health Activist Blog Carnival. If you’re interested in participating too, you can read all about here:
  2. Leave a comment with a link to your entry on this Health Bloggers Discussion – be sure to come back often to check out the latest entries from your fellow Health Activists!

At the end of the month, we’ll feature a few of our favorite submissions here on the blog. We hope everyone will submit a post this month and help us compile a great resource for all Health Activists to find inspiration and support!

Last month, we asked Health Activists to share their experiences and tips for traveling.

Here are a few of the excellent entries we received:

Kelly (you may know her better as RA Warrior) shared her experiences driving to and from Mississippi last summer in her post, “Traveling with Chronic Illness/RA“. She talks about how traveling has changed since she was diagnosed, and wonders whether part of the reason we don’t see more people living with severe rheumatoid arthritis, “because people who are limited by RA don’t spend a lot of time traveling around in public places.” Be sure to check out Part 2 of her post, where she shares 20 fantastic travel tips for those living with chronic illnesses!
In “Buckle Up, We’re Going on Vacation with Food Allergies“, Janeen describes how she prepares for family vacations – including everything from grocery lists to kitchen utensils necessary to prevent cross contamination. In addition to some tips about helpful online resources for finding food allergy friendly restaurants near your destination, there’s also a photograph of the final packing results that you won’t want to miss.
Amy K‘s entry, “Health Activist, Will Travel” presents a different perspective on the challenges of being a Health Activist on the road: sometimes one’s health conditions can prevent travel altogether. Amy notes that, “a lot of people with health conditions and a lot of health activists just don’t have access to the funds or support they need to travel.” Be sure to check out the full post – there are some great travel suggestions in the comments section too!
Just getting back from a trip of your own? It’s not too late to share your tips for traveling as a Health Activist with the WEGO Health Community! Take a minute to leave a comment on the discussion in our Health Bloggers Group.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted entries for last month! We hope you’ll come back tomorrow to find out the topic for August’s Health Activist Blog Carnival.