What the 11W crew has created is so much more than another sports blog. Through the forums, at a particularly difficult time, I made a post about a personally difficult situation. I was recovering from a seemingly endless run of surgeries (I was at 16 or 17 at the time, I think) and had moved in by myself to care for 2 terminally ill parents, one of whom didn't know who I was any more.
My parents had been scammed of their life savings, and I was trying to care for them physically and financially, while balancing my own health and marriage at the same time. Dark days. I wasn't sure there was light at the end, and was even less sure I wanted to even find out.
I was alone with bad health and the impending death of parents who could no longer care for their most basic daily needs; bathing, feeding, bathroom needs included, 24 hours a day - 7 days a week. I felt alone, until that post. The outpouring of support from members of the 11W community kept me going. Offerings of personal emails for direct contact, and general encouragement helped me regain a focus and perspective that helped me through.
My parents have since passed, I have only one more planned surgery on the horizon, and life is regaining a more positive focus. Had the collection of individuals I heard from on 11W at that time not been there, I'm not sure I would have made it through. 11W is more than a sports site. It's a gathering place for some of the finest people humanity has to offer. For that I give Jason and the gang my heartfelt thanks.