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In 2009, journalist Mike Porath and his wife received two pieces of terrifying news: Their unborn son was missing an organ and their two-year-old daughter had a rare chromosome disorder. Porath navigated the disorienting news by doing what most people in similar situations do — he went online. The internet proved to be the place where he found the most solace as his family went through hospital visits and test results and met families with members with similar diagnoses. Porath wanted other people to have the same experience, so he created The Mighty, a digital platform to connect people around the globe over countless health conditions.
The need for platforms like The Mighty is exponential. In the United States alone, nearly half of the population has at least one chronic medical condition and nearly one in four adults have at least two. Forty-eight million Americans have disabilities and one in six US adults live with a mental illness. But despite the numbers, these issues can be isolating. That’s somewhere The Mighty has been able to help in a big way. “About every week, we hear from somebody saying that The Mighty saved their life,” Porath says.
The Mighty has connected people who were told there was no one else with their same condition. What started as a small but mighty (pun intended) website has become a powerful, multilayered network with more than 2.5 million registered users, including 200,000 healthcare professionals and more than 13,000 contributors in over 70 languages. On The Mighty, experts conduct live-streamed Q&As and stories and videos are seen and shared more than 90 million times a month. It’s even drawn the attention of medical researchers from Harvard and Columbia. As technology continues to make deepening connections between humans all over the world possible, The Mighty is just getting started.