Mom’s Virtual Cancer Family Helps Daughter Cope with Loss

When Gina Poe lost her mother to breast cancer, she was distressed. Michal Poe, a 68-year-old home hospice social worker had been the rock of the family and even as her disease became more advanced, she still carried on with humor and strength. After her death, Gina discovered that her mom wasn’t just the rock of their family. Michal was also a loved and celebrated member of “virtual family” of advanced breast cancer patients from all over the world who communicates on a daily basis through a website.

“A lot of them said they’d like to watch. They are wonderful people,” says Gina, a 47-year-old neuroscience professor from Ann Arbor, Mich., who is in regular email contact with some of them and has met one in person.

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