For many family caregivers, supporting a loved one through a health journey can be overwhelming, isolating and lonely. Fortunately, CaringBridge, the global leading no-cost health platform, addresses those needs by improving emotional health and social support, helping people come together in support of healing. As the world gears up for GivingTuesday, you have the opportunity to contribute to this transformative mission and make a lasting impact.
One person who has benefitted from CaringBridge during health challenges is Sabeeha. After her breast cancer diagnosis, her friends and family were constantly reaching out to show support and to find out what was going on.
“They are asking because they care,” said Sabeeha’s husband and primary family caregiver, Huzefa. “But it is very difficult to be so repetitive and still have a positive mindset. It was a lot of drain to repeat and repeat and repeat.”
To help capture and communicate their journey to family and friends around the world, Huzefa, Sabeeha and their family turned to CaringBridge — the donor-supported nonprofit that provides a private, ad-free space for communication, support and connection for anyone on a health journey.
“The caregiver’s journey is an endless journey,” says Huzefa. “I would not have been able to remain as positive if it was not for CaringBridge to offload that part of it. It gave me the forum to be positive, to be open, to be vulnerable.”
Connecting from afar
For other families, treatment logistics or protocols require isolation, which can cause them to feel alone. When Katie Stanley and Betsy Olesen found out their soon-to-be-born baby, William, had heterotaxy syndrome, a rare condition where organs form abnormally, it meant he needed a heart transplant shortly after birth. Katie and Betsy started a CaringBridge page for William about a month before he was born to share updates with their community.
“Nobody could even visit us for the first three months of William’s life, and it was extremely lonely,” Katie said. “Sharing our story definitely made us feel less alone because people were celebrating the exciting things William was doing, and they were grieving the things that we needed to grieve.”
Now two years after his transplant, William is a thriving, tenacious toddler and his moms still use CaringBridge to share positive updates and exciting milestones with their loved ones.
Controlling your own story
When Robin Yoder was diagnosed with Pleomorphic Undifferentiated Soft Tissue Sarcoma, a leg amputation was the only thing that could save her life. As a counselor, Robin was no stranger to health journeys and wanted to make sure she had control over the narrative so there would be no misinterpretation of her story.
“Some of the hardest dynamics are once information in your family goes out, everyone has their own interpretation of how they share it with the next person,” she explains. “Then, everybody absorbs the social context with which they understand cancer and they create a bigger story.”
Together with her teenage son, Robin documented her journey through photos and words on CaringBridge as she underwent surgery and began to heal. She was also grateful for the support of her community through their uplifting comments on her page.
“It was so comforting late at night, when I didn’t want to wake my husband,” she says. “I could log onto CaringBridge and read the comments that people were giving me, uplifting me. It was a way that everybody could participate.”
Each day, 300,000 people visit CaringBridge to surround family caregivers and their loved ones with support. This GivingTuesday, you can help ensure the incredible impact CaringBridge has on the lives of family caregivers and their loved ones continues to grow in support of their vision: A world where no one goes through a health journey alone.
Plus, now your generous donation will go further because this year, the CaringBridge Board of Directors has committed to providing a matching gift of up to $75,000. Donate today to double your impact and ensure that CaringBridge is available for everyone, anytime, anywhere, whenever someone needs to support a loved one on a health journey. Learn more at CaringBridge.org/Give.