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When You Need Community To Save Your Life: The Story of Tim McDonald
Tim McDonald is one of the greatest community builders I’ve ever met. He has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world and organized hugely-popular CM events. He’s welcomed countless people into this field and offered his guidance, help and advice (like he did for me). And now, Tim is using his community skills for something he never expected: finding a liver donor to save his life.
Tim got his start in Community in 2009. I met him not long after that when I moved to Chicago, and he gave me the warmest welcome into the city’s world of community professionals. He was leading networking events, connecting people, and speaking about the importance of digital communities. Do you remember MyCMGR chats and #CMGRhangout? That was his brainchild. Tim was the living embodiment of a community host and connector, and he still is today.
Tim would tell you that his greatest Community accomplishment was getting promoted to Director of Community at Huffington Post. But if you ask his friends and colleagues, I’m sure they’d tell you something different. For me, Tim’s greatest achievement in our field has been the example he has set for all community builders.
Something I didn’t expect, when I met Tim, was how great of a friend he would become. When I’ve needed advice about growing my career, Tim was there. When I created an e-course about the topic of Uncertainty and everything I was learning about it, Tim was one of the first people to sign up. When I first moved to Santa Monica and was processing all of the changes, Tim made sure to visit while he was on a trip to SoCal. Fate took him to Tampa where he lives today, which happens to be my hometown, and I’m grateful I’ve been able to see him on some visits.
The diagnosis is Stage IV colon cancer which has metastasized to his liver. He tells his story about finding out about the cancer here. There IS hope for Tim, and that hope comes in the form of a liver donor. Tim’s been putting his community skills to work to get the word out.
“Using my community building skills to find a donor has been a great reminder in how to reach out to individuals who have their own communities and asking them to share for me. This gets the word out to new people, and I have a chance to meet several new people as a result.” - Tim
Typical of Tim to find optimism in this situation in that this is introducing him to new people! In fact, in my latest phone conversation with him, I heard nothing but optimism in his voice. ❤️
Tim has much much more to contribute to our field and to the world. Subscribers, I ask you to please join me in spreading the word to find Tim a donor, and if donating is something you’d consider, I urge you to call the number provided to learn more. I’m also sending you a big virtual hug in thanks for you reading this and helping in any way you can.