What is MyLifeLine?

Monday, October 15, 2012
By, Kimberly Jewett
MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation was founded in 2007 by Marcia Donziger, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997, when she was 27 years old. The Internet existed at the time, but not with the fullness it does now. She recalls feeling overwhelmed by the volume of concern, during a time when she was struggling to fight the cancer inside her. She couldn’t physically return all the phone calls herself, and found it emotionally draining to repeat the same information about her condition, over and over. She often felt guilty for not staying in better touch with the people who cared about her.

In 2003, Marcia became aware of a special young woman, Lori Arquilla Andersen, who had just been diagnosed with cancer. Marcia was profoundly inspired – not just by Lori’s strength through crisis, but also by the way she harnessed the tools available to stay in touch with her family and friends during her illness. Through her own personal website, she posted her progress and courageously (and humorously!) inspired all who followed her struggle. As time went on, Lori’s support network expanded beyond her imagination. People visited Lori’s site to write encouraging messages, offer help to her family, or just stay updated and keep her in their prayers.

Inspired by Lori and her family, Marcia saw the tremendous benefit for cancer patients to communicate via a personal website. Sharing updates and managing caring messages via one central website can help everyone touched by cancer to deal with it.

“Lori’s website got us through the difficult times.” 
-Linda Magiera, Lori’s mom

Marcia saw an opportunity to make a difference for other cancer patients. She decided to go for it, extending the benefit of free, personal websites to all cancer patients. Thus MyLifeLine.org Cancer Foundation was born as a non-profit organization.



How patients benefit from a personal website:

  • Patients can easily build their online support community to share information on their terms via one central website.
  • By updating friends once, the patients reserve more energy for healing.
  • Patients can ask for help on the Helping Calendar for meals, transportation, etc.
  • Patients can ask for help financially through the Giving Angels Page
  • Family and friends appreciate getting the latest information without being intrusive.
  • Patients aid their own healing process by expressing what they are feeling and experiencing.
  • Patients can keep in touch with pictures of their cancer experiences or fun photos of family and friends.
  • Patients know they are loved with caring messages from family and friends.
  • Patients can educate their support network on their type of cancer and other cancer resources through the Learning Links.


Watch our video.


2010 Highlights

  • Patient sites received a major facelift with a better interface and more design templates.
  • New staff hired
  • Co-branding sites created to collaborate with hospitals and nonprofits to reach more cancer patients
  • Since 2007, over 23,000 patients and supporters have benefited from the personal websites.




At the time of my diagnosis, I was 31 years old and married with two small children. When I was diagnosed, I was so overwhelmed by not only the diagnosis and the treatment process, but also the amount of phone calls and emails I received from so many people that cared for me.


Therefore, I needed a way to easily communicate with my friends and family and then I found MyLifeLine.org and it really changed my life!  I was able to post updates of my journey for everyone to read, see the inspiring messages (and read them when I was able to), and most of all, I utilized the helping calendar that saved my life.  So many people wanted to help, and did not know how. The calendar allowed me to not feel guilty for asking.


MyLifeLine.org was such an instrumental part of my journey that I wanted to be a part of the organization and take it to the next level, while assisting cancer patients and their families in the process. I know in my heart that having cancer has changed my life. I did not let it define me, rather INSPIRE me.


Visit www.mylifeline.org to create your personal website today!

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