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All About Live2Give

"Live2Give" is a collaborative project between June-Marie Mahay and myself (John Lester) to help develop an online virtual community for people dealing with cerebral palsy and similar physically disabling conditions.

Live2Give includes this Blog site, a group in Second Life (group name: "Live2Give"), and a virtual island community in the public world of Second Life (island name: "Live2Give").

All of the Authors on this blog are participants in Live2Give. This Blog is a place where they can publically share their thoughts, experiences and feelings.   About Live2Give, Second Life, Cerebral Palsy and similar disabilites, or anything else.  This Blog is also a place where the general public can interact with participants in Live2Give by posting comments.

I have been involved in creating and managing online communities since 1993 when I started BrainTalk, a project originally based out of Massachusetts General Hospital (where I work as the Information Technology Director for the Neurology Department).  Braintalk is an Internet-based online self-help support environment providing online resources for patients and caregivers to find and communicate with each other around the world. 

In 2004, I started a non-profit organization called BrainTalk Communities Inc. The fundamental mission of Braintalk Communities is to foster online communities of self-help support groups, giving patients and caregivers the ability to communicate with each other using a variety of Internet technologies such as web-based bulletin boards, chatrooms, and new virtual-world environments.

I first met June-Marie Mahay as a fellow user of the Second Life virtual environment, where I learned she was working with her own group of people dealing with cerebral palsy.  I had already been using Second Life for another project involving people dealing with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism (called Project Brigadoon), and I was amazed at the fantastic work she had been doing to help her own group.  We met in person and decided to work together on "Live2Give."

"Live2Give" is an innovative virtual environment to help people dealing with cerebral palsy and similar physically disabling conditions, primarily funded by BrainTalk Communities Inc. working in collaboration with June-Marie Mahay.  The initial group involves members of the Evergreen Center, but the ultimate goal is to involve people from around the world.  To give them a virtual world where they are free from the limitations of their physical-world environment.  To give them hope and allow them to be productive members of a virtual space that they can call their own.

More information about Live2Give

Posted by John Lester on January 9, 2005 at 06:42 PM | Permalink


when i met john in real life i knew a kindred soul with the same mission had been found. he readily identified with the crew. and what was more important, they readily identified with him, embracing him immediately! to safely trust someone is not a light thing. all of us have come to trust john. his insights,likemindedness, and eagerness to help have been invaluable.

there are many people who've helped us get this far. many second life residents who've been exceptionally supportive such as baccara, mash, angelique,and kage. others have given trememdously to help with the purchase of a new computer for wilde. ty all very much!

i'm not sure i could convey to the average reader how much this project at large has empowered johanna, danny, scott, micah, nichole, charlene, mary, john g and john s. it has revolutionized how they feel about themselves, and their part to play in the world.

we are all really the same, just packaged a little differently with different strengths and weaknesses, different hopes, dreams and fears.

may the live to give project give birth to a global revolution~

Posted by: the mascot | Jan 16, 2005 7:51:20 AM

Great site John. What you are doing is pointing out a new way and riding a early wave of real progress in the health field.

Posted by: Mike Mitchell | Feb 3, 2005 10:36:13 AM

I visited your site in second life. It was wonderful. I have started a project to build a hospital in second life. I have joined in collaboration with the staff from the Medical Library and the hospital will be associated with them and we are making future plans as we have some of the same similar goals. One thing that I and the consumer health coordinator want to do is contact all health related groups on sl and hope that you will feel free to collaborate with us. We want to make this the best medical community on second life that it can be and I think it has so much potential for health care consumers, caretakers, educators and physicians. I want to provide more support groups and encourage oniine support groups to join second life.
If you have any ideas about what you would like to see in a hospital on second life please let me know. Our first meeting for the hospital project is Thurs. from 6-8 slt. I have a degree in health information management and I worked for many years in health information management as well as for a peer reivew organization with doctors to assure quality of care for patients
Unfortunately, I developed RSD after a complicated surgery and now have other associated disorders. The internet and now sl have been wonderful for me as a way to meet people and continue to kind of work that I love to do without having to leave my home as much. I will be teaching a class at a local community college next semester but my primary work is focused on the internet and sl. I am also interested in patient ethics and biotethics and hope to obtain formal education in this area but in the meantime I am in touch with people in this field via the internet and am involved in many discussions.

Live2Give is a beautiful place. I am a poet and I really like the poetry as well as the art that is displayed there.

Look forward to hearing from you,

Elizabeth Ward
[email protected]

or IM Coreshadow Bordiga in sl

Posted by: Elizabeth Ward | Oct 3, 2006 8:58:20 AM

Hi John,

I am a British University student currently studying towards an undergraduate business degree.

First of all, I must say that I admire and recognise this innovative work that you do.

I am writing a research assignment on the impacts (both on society and the economy) that second life is having globally.

Any help would be really helpful. Best wishes,


Posted by: Calum Mackenzie | Nov 28, 2006 6:58:54 AM


First I want to say, what a great thing that you are doing, john!
My name is Freek and I'm a student of the University of Utrecht/Hollland. At
the moment I'm writing a paper on Second Life . In the paper I want to focus
on people with a physical disability in SL. Here in Holland there are a lot
of people who think that Second Life has only a negative effect on human
beings. In the stories from disabled people, which I read on the Internet, I
realized that Second Life can be a very positive experience for some people.
That is what I want to discuss in my paper.

That's why I'm looking for disabled people (who play SL) to do an interview
with me. I already made a couple of interview questions. I was wondering if
you could help me to find these participants. The names (RL and SL) of
the interview participants stay anonymous.

Kind regards,


Posted by: Freek | Apr 6, 2007 6:48:01 AM

I was introduced to Live2Give by an acquaintance on Second Life. I lost my brother to ALS four years ago. David was a whiz on the computer and although we were separated by hundreds and hundreds of miles we communicated via email almost daily even if only to say "I'm thinking of you." I was immediately struck by the use of Second Life for people like my brother who were no longer able to do all they had done "before". What an awesome thing it would have been for David and I to have dinner together, toast each other with a glass of wine, or run on the beach again. I would like to know if any other PALS have used this means of communication. If someone would write me back I would appreciate it. As a former member of the Board of Directors of the ALS Association of the Greater Bay Area, I would like to bring this to the attention of the Director she if she would find the website of value.
Very, Very Sincerely,
Amy R.

Posted by: Amy | Apr 27, 2007 3:55:50 PM

for those linking to this site for the first time please know that the links to the left are in alphabetical order and not as i'd like them to appear. as the person responsible for 95% of the postings on this site it is important for you to know that some of the most moving compositions are in john s, scott and mary's writings. the pictures too are a must see so that you have a reference for the people behind the writings. i hope you are inspired to live beyond your shell and apparent limitations!

jm sunshine mahay other wise known as the mascot!

jm sunshine mahay
[email protected]

Posted by: jm sunshine mahay | Sep 5, 2009 1:05:30 PM

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