Ben's Friends Monthly Newsletter - August 2014 Issue

Just the Stats:
Communities: 35
Friends: 42,000+

In this issue

Featured Spotlight

De-Stress and More: The Benefits of Venting and Expressing Anger

There are many benefits of venting, and Ben Munoz and Scott Orn’s desire to develop a dedicated space to vent spurred on the creation of Ben’s Friends.

For some, it might be difficult to read; however, for the venter, venting is one way to let go and release some of his or her angry-energy surrounding the rare illness and leaves him or her room for new energy.

According to one article, “Anger can be harmful or helpful, depending upon how it is expressed” . Expressing anger/writing in a Ben’s Friends community is considered helpful.

On the other hand, one option for dealing with anger is to suppress it; however, suppressing such anger can lead to many difficulties including the disruption of relationships and the negative impact on the ability to think. Clearly, venting the anger is preferred over suppressing the anger.

Benefits of venting include:

  • Venting releases the often-times negative emotion of anger from the venter to “paper”, freeing up “head space” to focus on other things.
  • “Suppressed anger can be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression”, according to Cleveland Clinic's "Managing Anger" article.
Excessive bouts of anger that can otherwise lead to depression or heart-attack(, are released and contained constructively.
  • Whereas “the price of anger is isolation” for many, and “friendships are distant” or severed, venting in a community like Ben’s Friends can combat that feeling of loneliness.
When faced with a frustration, according to one article from Health and Fitness Magazine, the venter knows that things could be worse; however, he or she isn’t necessarily looking for advice or a solution to his or her “problem”. Rather, he or she is looking for a friend to listen; with someone “listening” and responding, the venter feels valued.

What's New?

Congratulations to the Moderators of Fibromyalgia Community! They now regularly feature one of their members in their community, and they are laying down the challenge for community members to write a personal note to other community members. Ambition in action!

Woot-woot! The Lyme Disease Community reached 200 members.

Huge strides for the Narcolepsy Community. Great job!

We received donations totaling the amount of over $20,000. Thank you.

For anyone interested in creating a thank-you video or writing a thank-you note for received donations please contact Scott Orn.

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation - a forum for patients and families affected by brain aneurysm.

International Ataxia Awareness Day is coming up on September 25. How will your company create awareness?

Tax changes could improve your credit score, according to National Business Report (NBR). Credit scores will "soon" reflect your credit, minus medical expenses.

Featured Member: James S.

What can trump the trauma of a brain bleed and AVM rupture? How about an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) rupture / brain bleed with a death of a loved one, three seizures, and an infection from brain surgery?

AVM Survivor James S. survived all of these – and is still doing so for many years. In fact, he celebrates 10 years of survival this year.

Within his 10 survival years, he has accomplished many things including: encouraging his kids to go to college, founding Online Radio Station KFEE, and leading a Virtual Worlds Symposium in San Francisco, California, for people with varying abilities.

Hats off to you, James.

For more information on James and his 10 successful years post-AVM rupture, visit James on his Tumbler site

Picture of the Month

Can you guess who this is?

Just so you know, his present-day photo looked way too recognizable to a 32-year-old picture. This picture is hard to recognize who he is now.

Here’s a “small” hint:

Click this link to find out who he is.

Quote of the Month

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” -Robert H. Schuller

Trivia Time: What Food Can Help You De-Stress More Immediately?

Butternut Squash can help you de-stress more immediately. The protein found in butternut squash goes directly to the brain, helping to de-stress quicker when compared to other foods with protein that take a detoured route to the brain.

Video of the Month

Para-Olympic Champion and Marine Officer Josh Sweeney was honored with the 2014 ESPY Pat Tillman Award.

Beagle Gets Puppy Sister As A Bday Gift

Coming Soon

Look for a NEW app that empowers you to conduct a search for a doctor. Stay tuned for more information!

Did You Hear?

“We were new to the AVM issue with my daughter, Brittany, then 16-years-old. (The website/community) then was my biggest support, and we had grown to know so many others…struggling through very similar issues of AVM.

Today, Brittany is 21, married almost a year ago, to a then-marine. They live here in Austin, though she was gone for a year in San Diego. After her Gamma Knife, we had to wait the long two years.

I am so proud of you! You are such a wonderful example of turning the hurts and pains of this life into positives."

-Pat (Austin, Tx)

Network Stats:
  • Members: 42,164
  • Unique Visitors: 97,853
  • Twitter Followers: 4,212
  • Facebook Followers: 45,056


“Our memories bind us, and our imperfections release us.”

Help Ben's Friends

Do you shop online, especially at Amazon? Your usual purchases can help Ben's Friends at no cost to you!

Amazon is running a new promotion for Amazon Smile, their program that gives money back to Non Profits. For instance, (my nonprofit) received $52 from Amazon Smile our 1st month trying it so it really works! And $50 is enough to support one rare disease support community for an entire month!
To sign up:

  1. Click on Amazon Smile
  2. Choose Bens Friends as your charity of choice (listed as in Houston, TX). If needed – go to My Account / scroll to Settings / find Change Your Charity.
  3. For more info/FAQ, visit
  4. Then when you go to to shop in the future, Ben’s Friends gets a little extra funding at no cost to you, thereby helping 1000s of rare disease patients!

Ben’s Friends Team