THE BLOG
08/21/2014 04:11 pm ET Updated Oct 03, 2014

iPhone App Connects People With Cerebral Palsy

Frantz Alexis has cerebral palsy. At times, he found it difficult to find other people with CP with whom to connect and share common experiences. The product developer and self-described technology junkie decided to do something about it. He launched the first app that aims to create a community for people just like him: Candor CP.

The idea for Candor CP materialized when Alexis learned the power of connecting with other people who have CP over social media while researching selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery. Although Facebook groups and forums have been invaluable resources, he didn't feel comfortable discussing the more private -- and potentially embarrassing -- aspects of having CP with the world. His main issue is that whatever he posted on existing social media was public, had his name associated with it and would often get viewed by a larger audience than he preferred. He remembers several instances where he would post something or reply to to a post in a Facebook CP group, only to be surprised when a friend or family member would ask for an update or chime in with their thoughts.

According to Alexis, the problem with posting real names in public forums and groups is that being identified

naturally leads to some holding back and censorship since many people with CP may have things they want to discuss privately. My thought was 'How can I create something as helpful and powerful as Facebook and the social media I used when considering this life-changing surgery (SDR)?' I wanted to do it in a way where people would be comfortable being candid discussing feelings, symptoms and topics.

Candor CP lets users chat with each other anonymously. It encourages open, safe communication about issues that may be too private to talk about on public social media. The sign-up process is simple. You create an account using an email address and a password. You don't have to worry about usernames, avatars, share settings or linking to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. When you post a comment, the app assigns an avatar that is unique to each thread.

Alexis interacts with adolescents and young adults who have CP on his blog, Learning to Run: My Cerebral Palsy Journey, and at a local hospital in New York. While sharing his story, he realized that young adults with CP would benefit from connecting with other people their age who have the same disability. There wasn't a supportive community with people like him years ago. He hopes Candor CP changes this for those struggling with issues that frustrated him as a teenager, is ecstatic for the world to see the app and hopes everyone finds it useful.

Subscribe to Must Reads.
The internet's best stories, and interviews with their authors.