The internet breaks completely all geographical barriers. This is particularly important for those suffering from a rare condition and who do not have direct access to the few major cancer centers with in-house specialists for that condition.
We have a developing story on one of the ACOR lists where a patient living in an Arab country was first diagnosed there with a rare cancer. The patient then went to Israel and got a second opinion, resulting in a different diagnosis for a different rare cancer.
Understandably the e-patient came to our list and asked for advice, immediately assuming that the collective intelligence of the group, with a membership of about 700, would help her/him make sense of the 2 different diagnosis.
In less than a day the e-patient has received all the necessary information to contact directly 3 specialists for that rare disease: the best specialist in Jordan, the best specialist in Israel and the best specialist in the US. While that part of the Middle East is once again witnessing untold horrors and large scale human killings, an entity based exclusively in the worldwide network has freely and naturally helped a patient by instantly removing borders. I hope we will see many more of these stories in the future.