Ricky Durham founded Prescription 4 Love in 2006, inspired by his late brother Keith, who lived with Crohn's disease for 15 years before passing away in 2004. Though he doesn't find it appropriate to be a member of a community he founded, he says he can empathize with his members.
"He was a good-looking boy, and he could find dates, but when do you tell someone you have a colostomy bag? "It's nice to find someone who's going through what you're going through," he says.
In 2004, after years of brushing up against the harsh realities of the dating scene, Leftwich founded No Longer Lonely, a dating site that caters to the mentally ill.
"I thought to myself, 'There should be something like this out there,' and I was surprised to find there wasn't," says Leftwich.
For that fee, members get a more personalized experience, as Date Able is more akin to an old-school matchmaking service.
The organization has been responsible for almost 1,000 marriages, according to Watson.
"But I probably knew everybody in my community and nobody I knew wanted to date me or vice versa.
Lynn lived 60 miles away, but we made it work." By pushing a "friends first" concept, which has been emulated in the communal blog and forum features of Prescription 4 Love, No Longer Lonely, and other illness-specific sites, Date Able members can get up to speed on the dating world in a familiar environment without the prying eyes of the Web.
C., doctor who wanted to give her patients a way to combat the isolation that accompanied their physical disabilities, charges a 5 initiation fee for the first year and every year thereafter.
(Health.com) -- Lana, a 38 year-old publicist in Los Angeles, California, was diagnosed with genital herpes in 1997.
Since then, she has "kind of been hiding" from the dating scene.
People with mental health problems, from chronic depression to schizophrenia, have also benefited from specialized sites.
Jim Leftwich, 39, a college librarian from White Plains, New York, has lived with schizoaffective disorder, a condition that combines features of schizophrenia and mood disorders (such as depression), since 1992.