My name is Tonya Heathco, Founder and CEO of National Seizure Disorders Foundation. I was born with a rare brain abnormality manifesting in unpredictable seizures as I approached adulthood. Years into adulthood, I discovered my passion for helping people live their bliss while enjoying the highest quality of daily life possible. I live this passion daily by helping many people living with seizures or those caring for someone living with seizures. I am a mother of three young adults and grandmother of three angels. I fill my days with activities that nurture my soul, such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and brain nourishing reading and music. I am a trusted friend and devoted partner.
Why Twitter and TweetChat?
The necessity came about after recent surgery temporarily took my voice. In March 2014 VNS surgery was performed to help in the positive management of seizures. Two days later, my voice was completely gone. As most of my work at National Seizure Disorders Foundation is vocal a decision had to be made. Through a friend I learned about TweetChat and developed our new communication platform that now compliments our BlogTalk podcast (Seize the Day). For several years Twitter was a dependable resource and a way to quickly “check in” with members. TweetChat came recommended and was an easy, comfortable method of tracking our growing Twitter chat parties. I now have my voice and have chosen to continue with our TweetChat journey, NSDF Power Hour. Together NSDF Seize the Day and NSDF Power Hour are empowering listeners each week.
Each week we chat about a different seizure related subject. Every topic matters to those living with seizure disorders (aka Epilepsy) ad their family caregivers. As NSDF brings order to seizure disorders, it is fitting to have our Power Hour TweetChat empower our members.
What inspired the chat?
As mentioned above, the need to stay connected with the pubic (affected and unaffected) while I was without voice. Because NSDF believes in empowering those living with seizures and those caring for people living with seizures, we were inspired to create a chat for the world that would empower and raise awareness.
Our community is a crucial part in the lives of many. Or community fosters connection and nurtures the human spirit. Our community is over 65 million people large and growing. NSDF works in a community protecting people from judgment and bullying. Our community, through TweetChat is growing and will soon involve the Tweets of all members as well as the public.
Can you share with us one or two success stories from TweetChat?
As NSDF is very new the TweetChat, the only success that comes to mind is one of overcoming challenges. In the beginning I had an internal challenge of understanding the “magic” of TweetChat. The process is so simple; I refused to believe it works. After taking that first step with our first chat, I felt empowered. Now I am able to teach others the simple system and they, in turn, are teaching their friends.
How can TweetChats improve?
Perhaps a video showing the process and a sample chat for those new to Twitter chats and TweetChat. For those planning weekly chats, a scheduling system that allows the scheduler to type in the basic information once and have it saved automatically to every chat schedule.
How can TweetChats help build your community?
TweetChats can help build the community of NSDF Power Hour by making marketing/promotional templates available and developing a system that will point traffic in the direction of NSDF through a simple search. Example, a public member has never heard of NSDF yet wants to attend a TweetChat on seizures or Epilepsy. They type in the keyword seizures and immediately find NSDF Power Hour scheduled chats as top suggested chats to attend.
Is there anything about TweetChat that you would like to convey that’s not covered by this questionnaire?
I am grateful for the creation, ease of use, and availability of TweetChat. TweetChat has given NSDF opportunity to increase the daily quality of lives of many more across the globe. When the creators of TweetChat are looking for a dedicated source for charitable giving, I hope TweetChat keeps NSDF in mind.