Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fan Mail

It's coming in regularly and it's all electronic.  The best ones are the wonderful messages from family and his friends, sending their congratulations and promising visits in the near future.  They were coming in during the show, even.  ("Neil, stop texting and watch yourself on TV!")  Somehow, Neil's last name was leaked on an MTV message board (maybe even by Neil, himself) and now his facebook page has been located.  He's received several very kind messages of support from complete strangers.  What has me concerned, however, are the friendship requests.  There are 277 as of the last time he checked--just a couple of hours ago.  Who are these people?  I'm sure there are some very sincere individuals who were touched by Neil's circumstances and want to reach out to him.  But I'm not sure they all have good intentions.  So far he hasn't done anything but read the letters.  We're still trying to figure out how to help him with the friend requests.  How do we sort through them all?  He certainly doesn't need the complication of strangers reaching out inappropriately.

I was told yesterday that someone called Kessler begging Neil's personal information so that she could get in touch with him and swap brain injury stories.  This prompted a great discussion with some of the staff there about possibly trying to start a support group for young adults in New Jersey.  I can tell you there is a definite need for one.  We've been searching for months!  If some of these people reaching out to Neil are struggling from a TBI like he is, we could have a group all ready for when that support is up and running.  Then I'd have to reluctantly say, "keep those cards and letters coming!" 


Debbie C said...

I can understand your concern about complete strangers! Don't know what I would do! Since we saw the program, I can't help but wonder if this is the "purpose" Neil has been given....he is such a wonderful example and spokesperson....Not only are we members of the "Neil fan club" but I have to tell you what an AWESOME woman and mom you are! I am a member of the Lori fan club too!

Debbie C said...

P.S. Have a Happy Mother's Day. I think it will be better than last year, and I think it will be better every year!

Trinyan Mariano said...

I recommend thinking of EVERYTHING on facebook as public speech, regardless of what privacy screens you put up. So I have two facebook accounts. One that I use for family, friends, colleagues and that has a lot of pictures and includes some personal information. THEN I have another facebook account that I use for all the other facebook purposes. This one does not have personal information, does not include pictures of my family, etc. Neil might want to consider such a double identity. OR just consider removing any info from his facebook page that he wouldn't want to share with 277 strangers! When you are a celebrity, you need to be able to be in contact with your peeps. :-)

Meredith said...

Trinyan may be onto something. It is a personal and professional identity! I have had fan mail pouring into to me as well - so many friends and friends of friends saying they watched and are so proud of Neil and his progress. I am certain that most people have the best of intentions but you never know about the occasional creepies.

Alanna said...

When I saw Neil on TV I was so touched and moved by his story and your family in general, so I spent forever trying to find his last name online and actually someone mentioned it on a "yahoo answers" message board. Anyway found him on facebook and also wrote him about a 3 paragraph note. He hasn't responded but I'm sure his inbox is flooding with mail so I understand :) As long as he reads it and knows that he is truly an inspiration thats all that matters to me, regardless of if he writes back or not.