Published on October 18th, 2012 | by Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp0
How Social Media Cured my Father’s Cancer
Social media has taken a serious beating in recent years due to scandalous stories. From the woman who live-tweeted her abortion to “demystify (them) for other women,” to the man who took a woman hostage–and updated his status on Facebook, it is difficult to find the good in any of these venues with all of their negative capabilities. But if you use them–which, you likely do–then you know they have positive and even powerful effects.
Let me tell you one such story that you have likely not heard about. My father was diagnosed with colon cancer last spring. Reeling from the news I asked him how I could help. His reply was simple: “Lori, pray please pray. Ask everyone to pray for me. Ask the people you email weekly, put me on a prayer line. Just pray for me.”
I write a daily blog called Faithfilledmom.com; it is based on my faith and every day happenings and stories in my life. Over the past couple years, I have written this blog and garnered a following of 150 people, whom I email weekly with my life and blog updates. So, that evening afters speaking with my father, I went home and set to work.
I emailed my Faithfilledmom list of followers. I put my dad’s name on the prayer line through our church. I emailed another 150 people who have completed retreats with me to pray for my dad. I texted almost every contact I had in my phone. Then, I started tweeting prayer requests. Next, I turned to Facebook. Because of my blog, I have almost 3,000 “friends” on my account. I started posting my prayer request on their home pages.
There was a priest in New York who said his mass in honor of my dad the following morning. There was a man in Denver who dedicated prayer during Eucharistic Adoration. There is a group of Africans in Kenyan Seminary, who read my blog daily; they committed to praying daily for my dad. I contacted people in almost 30 different U.S. states, and then went global to Germany, England, Australia, Africa, Croatia, and Thailand. There were literally hundreds of people praying for my dad.
Weeks later, when they surgically removed the tumor, it was the size of a racquet ball and had not spread. My dad said during that time of intensely united prayer through social media. he could feel the impact. He completely attributes his recovery to God and the hundreds of prayers that knocked on heaven’s doors all those weeks.
If you have ever prayed like this then you know its power. Prayer connects us to God intimately and to one another as the living body of Christ. I truly believe if the apostles of Christ had access to Facebook, Twitter, email and mobile texting, they would have utilized it so that they could have reached all corners of the globe to proclaim the Good News of Christ. I have a mission to move people closer to God one word, one daily reflection, one retreat, and one prayer at a time and the social networks and technology of our time helps me to fulfill that mission.
While social networks were invented to bring people together, it is evident they are abused and used in manners of which I cannot approve. But just as there is the darkness there must be some light. If used for good, our social networks can facilitate many good works. Today, think about posting something positive on your profile page; tweet for prayerful support. The Pope is even tweeting now. Can’t you just imagine St. Peter doing the same to spread the Word of God to the entire world?