Go take a look at this beautiful picture Xeni Jardin took. Seriously. It’s gorgeous in an utterly human way.
Xeni Jardin has been documenting her experiences fighting breast cancer. Her openness and honesty in discussing her care, her experiences, and her hope have had an amazingly positive impact.
I know this not only from the comments on Instagram and boingboing, but from actual, real people that I’ve personally met who tell me how inspired they are. Whether they are diagnosed with breast cancer, or have been concerned about it (I understand the latter encompasses pretty much all women in the US), Xeni’s story has been an inspirational tale.
Chemo is a bitch. You’re essentially trying to poison the cancer faster than you poison yourself. Knowing that there are caring, wonderful, real people taking care of you is a tiny reassurance when you find that your own cells are revolting against you.
I think her story is inspirational, and that dozens of stories like them exist at every hospital. Those stories are capable of reducing fear and possibly even helping people heal.
So, given the power of this medium, of these stories, of how much this unpackaged, raw, non-corporate press-release story can positively impact people’s lives… …when another hospital system says you can’t talk about them on social media, or take any pictures of volunteers or staff even with their permission, you gotta wonder what they’re trying to hide.
#disclaimer: As noted, I am not talking about the facility Xeni is at. She and I have only traded a few e-mails; she probably doesn’t remember I exist. I am deliberately not naming any specific hospital, health network, or other corporate entity. I am not speaking about a specific policy at any institution, but am speaking about a principle that I’ve spoken and written about many times before (see this post from 2009 for an example). I am not speaking on behalf of any corporate entity. Duh. This is a scheduled post written over seventeen hours before it posts. And if you’re drawing conclusions based on the fact that I have to include this long-ass disclaimer… well, those are your responsibility, aren’t they?