Online communities allow us to "help and be helped" across great geographic distances. Sites like Juvenation.org do this for the diabetes community, and there are countless other web communities out there to bring together people with almost every other disease. All too often I've heard from T1 kids who had never met anyone else with type-1 diabetes. Internet groups can help to close a geographic gap and create meaningful connections.
Sharing practical advice, moral support and patient tips go a long way - even if it comes in a pixelated form.
Jenni Prokopy who runs the chronicbabe.com blog put together a great video compilation that reveals how online health is being impacted by online support sites. It's worth checking out: