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Chris Hefling realized the need for people whose lives have been touched by cancer to connect with each other in a simple, easy way.  So he created MyHopeSpace.com, an online community that allows anyone who has knowledge of or an experience with cancer to talk with each other.  Read on to see how effective MyHopeSpace.com has been so far, and they’re just getting started!

How did My Hope Space begin?
MyHopeSpace.com was founded in 2006 on two coinciding events. One, My father in law had recently been diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and passed away in September of that same year. Two, I had recently been informed about a man who was diagnosed with germinoma, a cancer that is more common in children than in young adults. His name is Matthew Twit and he was trying to find others in his own age group that he could communicate with about his illness. It was then that we decided we could build a website where cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and family members could share their stories with others and communicate anytime, anywhere.
MyHopeSpace.com is owned and operated by Foundations of Hope, Inc. a Nebraska not-for-profit company.

That is such an amazing resource- who can join?
MyHopeSpace is open to anyone whose life has been touched by cancer. This can be a cancer patient, survivor, caregiver, family member, friend, a loved one or even a person or company that helps support awareness.  It is a community of people who share a common bond, a personal common interest. We want to offer people the tools they need to find someone they can connect with, someone they can feel comfortable sharing their feelings and emotions with. Sometimes patients and caregivers just want to talk to someone so they do not feel so alone.

Can you talk about some of the progress you’ve seen occur as a result of people connecting through My Hope Space?
Progress to me is in the amount of diverse people we have met and come to actually speak with on a daily basis , not just locally but all over the world. MyHopeSpace.com is a member-based social network but it is also a public resource. Sometimes it is more than just people connecting with people, it is the sharing of information. When someone shares their story with us they are reaching out in hopes that someone in need will read what they have written and help them get through the day.  MyHopeSpace is sometimes a conduit, a way for someone to get from one place or another. We don’t always have what someone is looking for but we hope to have a link to someplace that does.

What is the most moving moment you’ve had so far with My Hope Space?
I have met so many wonderful people since the startup of MyHopeSpace. I can’t say I have had one that out shines any other. There are so many caring and giving individuals in the cancer community it is just amazing. People are so willing to share their stories and have graciously given us the opportunity to feature them on our website. I am just in awe of the power and resolve of the people we come in contact with, everyone has such an amazing to story to share.

Is there anything else you’d like people to know about My Hope Space?

Everyone handles a cancer diagnosis of themselves or a loved one differently – MyHopeSpace.com is designed to cross boundaries of all those impacted by the disease. Whether your male or female, have breast or lung or one of the other hundreds of types of cancer, are a patient or a caregiver or family member or member of the medical community, whether you live in the Midwest, Europe or are just one of the thousands in a hospital bed currently battling the disease – there is a place for you at MyHopeSpace.com to hopefully gain insight, hope, share you journey or just learn that you are not alone.

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