This story is a little off the topic of The History of the Internet, but I was impressed and appreciated the internet service.
In 2000, my mom got breast cancer. The cancer itself was not heavy, and so she is fine now. However, as other patients suffered by breast cancer, she had to cut her left breast off.
For women loosing breasts is so painful because they might feel like they are not female anymore, and my mom wasn't an exception. Because of a secondary effect of an anticancer drug, the whole illness produced depressed state.
My dad, brother and I all tried to chin her up all the time, but everything ran badly. We wanted to help her, but we couldn't imagine her real feelings. She stayed indoors at bedroom; what she did was crying and sleeping.
She had a PC in her room. I don't know why and when she started to look internet sites, but she actually did. I guess she wanted to know more about breast cancer at first. And then, she found many other patients of breast cancer. She created her own blog, and made web-friends...a woman who just found her breast cancer, a man whose wife was suffered by breast cancer, and so on.
One day, she asked my dad whether she could go out of home (we need dad's permission if we want to go somewhere). She said she wanted to go to hot spring in Akagi, Gumma. I was surprised because we had to be naked in ONSEN, and it must hard for people who lost breast.
What made her go out of her room was "1, 2の3で温泉に入る会" (Getting in Onsen with 1, 2, 3 shout). This is Japanese site, but this organization is established by, and for "breast cancer survivors".
Her depression was getting better and better by communicating with people who had the same worries or anxiety. Mom's blog had 10th anniversary this year. Unfortunatelly one of the web-friends passed away by metastasis of breast cancer to uterus. However, mom is trying to learn more about breast cancer, and supporting other patients through the web.