Tim said a trip to the emergency room on Saturday revealed that Michele had six to eight brain tumors. Upon hearing that news, the Web site was immediately flooded with messages of support.

Graddy’s friends even put together a meal program, house cleaning schedule and yard maintenance for her family.

Michele’s sister, Teresa Harman, said she used to be skeptical about Michele’s online friends, but not anymore.

“This is hard to even wrap your mind around. These are real people,” Harman said. “These are true friends.”

I just received word of this story from a friend and those words “online community rallies…” hit me in the most vulnerable part of my heart. Michele Graddy was an incredibly active member of an Indianapolis Mom’s networking site, MomsLikeMe. I hate to say was. She passed away from vicious and fast moving breast cancer leaving behind her husband and four children.

She was diagnosed less than a month ago.

I have never seen cancer first hand.

But I have seen loss first hand in the most achingly and devastating way possible.

I’ve also seen loss online. Too many losses to count.

But all of these losses have had one thing in common.

An online community rallied.

And while no online comminuty could ever fix what went wrong, we can rally, help, offer words and help to a greiving family.

And we do.

And that’s what makes us so great.

A facebook group has been set up to help the Graddy family.

Donations are being taken through any Huntington Bank Branch.

Fundraisers are being organzied.

Strangers are rallying.

And through this strangers are becoming friends.

And friends can make anything better.

Even something like this.


  1. it is truly amazing what the power of the internet is capable of.

    I like being a part of it.

  2. I’m so proud to be a part of the online community.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I’ve seen first hand how the online community can be so giving and sharing.

  4. people are skeptical of online relationships. But the key word here is ‘community’. Community is A social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage “.

    Online is our common cultural and historical heritage. Maybe some folks don’t understand why we can derive from folks we have never met…but why do we put so much emphasis on seeing people. If we were all blind would that make us less of a community because we interacted with people we didn’t see? NO! This community is amazing, can be amazing and yet it mirrors our everyday face to face life, in many ways.

    In both online and face to face communities there can be viciousness, anger, trollish behavior,apathy, etc. And in both online and face to face communities we find support, love, comfort and understanding.

    the only difference is one community is carried out on line….that is the only difference

  5. Wow…Michele passed away six years after my friend Jeanette passed away from breast cancer.

    Yes it’s amazing how the internet can be such a supportive place. Here’s Jeanette’s legacy:


  6. It really is absolutely amazing, isn’t it? After Maddie died, watching what people did here… I just felt incredibly grateful for this community and what it can provide. It’s absolutely wonderful, completely relevant, and just… huge.

  7. The online community and its ralling behind “our own” really makes me see the good in people.

  8. That gave me chills. I still get lots of strange looks over my blog (I live in SmallTown, MI) but this is something I could pass on to share why I’m a part of this funny little community.

    So, so sorry for that family’s loss… how awful.

  9. I’ve seen rallies many times (and even started a few) and they have always made a difference, no matter how small.

    I’m proud to be a part of the internet community.

  10. Teary.

  11. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been involved in the efforts to help this family- even though I’d only met Michele face to face twice. I was at the hospital when she passed; I was at the viewing yesterday. What has been so amazing is how her fmaily has embraced us- her virtual friends. They’ve had no hesitation. They’ve welcomed anything and everything we are bringing to them. Major plans are in place to lift this family up for the next days, weeks, months, years. And while the 35,000 members of MomsLikeMe can’t ever take the place of 1 mom… we will do what we can to fill that void.

  12. I wrote about this after sweet Maddie passed. The power of the internet and the community of moms and people in general is so amazing. I love how people who didn’t even know Maddie, or Michele, or the others we lost recently, came together to do so much. I hope this trend to help others in need continues. I hate that we lose people but at least when we do, we know there are thousands out there to support us. Thanks for being one of those wonderful people.


  1. […] of my many brilliant readers said this on my post last week about when online communities rally: People are skeptical of online relationships. But the key word here is ‘community’. Community […]