The Story How Gary Vaynerchuk Saved My Life

December 29, 2009 Katja Presnal

The Story How Gary Vaynerchuk Saved My Life

When people ask me about the power of Twitter, I often tell a story how Gary Vaynerchuck saved my life on Twitter. Funniest thing is that I have told it to so many people that now I sometimes get the “I have heard it from someone else, but didn’t know it was about you”. Gary didn’t know it when it happened, nor I have never really had guts to tell him how his tweet “saved my life”. But Gary – let this be a Happy New Year to you and my public thanks to you and my support for everything that you do. You are changing and saving lives man! In June 2008 I got very sick, I got pulmonary embolism, I had 13 blood clots, and was hospitalized. I wrote a few updates from the hospital bed, but I had a 48 hour period of time that I (nor the doctors) were sure that I was going to make it. I was not able to talk much, not walk, not even eat myself, and I needed help breathing. I was told that the sooner I can breathe on my own and be without the oxygen mask, the better chances of surviving I had. The sooner I was able to walk again, the better chances of surviving I had. I reached out to Twitter for friends and support. One of the Tweets I read from my hospital bed was from @Garyvee and went something like this “These two songs get me really pumped right now: American Boy by Estelle and Let’s Ride by The Game”. “Heck, if they get Gary all pumped up, maybe they will get me all pumped up too” I thought and I downloaded both of them. And I took away the oxygen mask and stood up and jammed on the music. Well, sort of, I was able to stand like a half of a song at the time, but I just took a break, caught up with my breathing, and stood up and tried jamming on the music again, and again, and again. And again. No, I wasn’t really able to dance, nor it was an instant miracle, but the day after I was able to talk more, and even walk a little bit. A few days later I was able to go home. Did the jamming and music save my life, or Twitter, or Gary..? I don’t know. But what I know is that I got support not just from my family, but from my community on Twitter and that support got me going. These two songs became my theme songs for getting “pumped up” and for getting better. They are still in my iPhone, and I still listen to them. I would never be here where I am today without being inspired by amazing success stories like Gary’s, nor without my online community and friends and their support. Or without the power of Twitter. I truly believe that even if they together didn’t save my life, they changed it forever. Thank you.  



Katja Presnal

Katja Presnal shows how to live Nordic inspired life to the fullest and plan your dream life. Katja owns Presnal5 strategic marketing intelligence agency and wants to help marketing professionals to combine a dream career and dream life via freelance work. Katja is an award-winning marketing strategist, and a well-known speaker. Katja has lived in five different countries, and seven states in the USA. Her three children were all born in different countries within three years. When not working or jet-setting the world, Katja is at home cooking big family dinners. She has been featured in NY Times, Glamour, Redbook, Fodor's, Forbes and Woman's Day magazines among many other national and international publications and written for MTV3 and Lifetime TV networks.

Comments (6)

  1. Liz

    Very moving story! I had no idea you’d been so sick. I’m glad you are better. You are surrounded by people who support you!

  2. Lisa

    Sometimes we are given “What we NEED” just when we NEED IT! And it worked for you. What a great story!

  3. Naomi

    Katja- only you could combine an inspirational story with gangsta rap! I clicked over from my reader and could not figure out for the life of me where the beats were coming from until I read the post… not really my style of music but whatever gets your blood pumping. Literally.

  4. Love that.

    And one thing I can’t believe about you, lady, is your memory for detail – aka terror on the mountain video, ha. Looking forward to seeing you – healthy – sometime in 2010.

  5. Katja –

    What a great story. Props to you and Gary V both. Incredible stuff.

    DJ Waldow
    Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory

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