My mom was diagnosed with cancer and she lives in a very remote area and has few real-life friends. She read that cancer patients have better survival rates if they have a website/blog, so she found caringbridge. It has surpassed all of our expectations of a nonprofit organization. They helped with IT support when my mom decided she no longer wanted certain people accessing her site. It gave her something to do between treatments...she would journal and post plenty of pics of her progress, and family and friends from around the world would support her through the hardest times. I don't know how our family would have been able to get her updates and support her without this site. I would recommend it, hands down, above any other site for anyone having a significant life event. My mom said she would go back and read the posts from people and look at pics people sent her when she was feeling very weak and down. Normally there is always a catch with a good website but there really were no fees, ads, or anything like that. You just need to be aware that if you donate it goes to caringbridge, not to the individual who is using the site. Try it and you won't regret it. Thanks caringbridge- you helped me be by my mom's side when I couldn't do it physically.
I'm in Ohio.Friend in hosp. in Oregon. They have many briends all over United States. No Way wife could call every day, but thanks to Caringbridge..she "could". It has been wonderful to be Up-to-date on his progress thes 2 plus months. when my son-in-law was in a coma for 7 mo. we were exhausted trying to call people and return ans. maching numbers. oh how we would have had caringbridge. Thans for it I hope it lasts forever and a day. eleanor gerber
Review from Guidestar
This site gives you the ability to share your story and help others in need of emotional support. It also gives you the opportunity to volunteer with a plethora of ways to do so. I love it and I'm positive you will too!
Review from Guidestar
This is just an amazing site! Being able to bring all their loved ones together in one place at one time. Those who are too far away or those that can't make a daily trip to spend time with the person at the other end of the "CaringBridge". Keeping everyone updated with the SAME information instead of relying on word of mouth, which let's face it, things get misinterpreted or facts gets communicated wrong. This site lets you set the "record" straight and keep everyone on the same page. It also gives the chance for all their loved ones to show love and support which is a key component the good health and healing!
Review from Guidestar
I believe in CaringBridge purpose in inspiring other people who are sick and those related to them that are also suffering emotionally... although they might not be experiencing the pain, yet they are also affected somehow.
Review from CharityNavigator
CaringBridge is an amazing site that helps families and friends keep updated on the health and family of people affected by an illness. It keeps everyone in the loop and also makes it non-intrusive to the families. Friends can get updates without having to bother the family or person that is ill. It's hard to ask how a person is doing and sometimes the answer may not be good, so all involved are uncomfortable. CaringBridge makes it more comfortable for all parties involved and keeps everyone apprised of details. This is an amazing site.
i am, thankfully, not a patient at this point in time. however, i do have a friend who is and is using the site. WHO KNEW FROM THIS SITE? she sent me the link and it. bounced. my. socks. off!! at first i thought "how cool is THIS?" look at what she (my friend) made; then..."wait a sec...this isn't a personal deal...look at what is available to her at the hospital. how come i never saw this before?"; then..."umm....hang on, here, this isn't a hospital site, it's something different."; then...."HOLY WOW!!" after i read my friend's story and several journal entries, i found the parts where i could write to her and then where i could send a donation to help this site continue. i wrote and wrote and wrote to her and then..."uh oh. i haven't been working in a while. money is kinda tight." and then "I'LL KISS FEET ON BROADWAY IF I HAVE TO, BUT I HAVE TO GIVE SOMETHING TO HELP THIS CONTINUE!!" and i did. not a lot. nothing huge. just a little. just the kind of amount that says that i can't have two bags of snicker's minis and three magazines this week; or the kind of amount that says i'll have to get my darned hair cut after 8 weeks instead of my usual 6 weeks. you see, 28 years ago i watched my father die with my 6 month old only child in my arms. thankfully, it went quickly, and for the most part he wasn't aware of much. however, I was. i was hyper-aware of EVERYTHING. every breath he took; every squelch of a nurse's shoe in the hallway; every ring of the telephone which made me jump up like a cat kicked in the caboose because my nerves were so raw; all of the constant repetitions of the same litany i had to recite to every person that paraded through his room or called; over and over and over and over....had something like CaringBridge been available at that time (we didn't even have computers back then...wow, i'm a fossil) i think it would have taken me to a different place. i believe that my hair would have stayed hair instead of the live nerve endings it had become. i would have had an outlet; i would have been able to reach out; i could have let everyone know when it was a good time or a bad time to come or, when they needed to ALL come right away. i could have read words of encouragement to my father as he lay in his bed in the hospital instead of snippets from books or newspapers that had nothing at all to say to him. over the past 28 years since my father has been gone, we've gotten computers and cell phones and microwaves (WHOA) and so many friends of mine and family members, as well, have had me sitting at their bedsides asking them questions that, i'm sure, had been answered ten thousand times previously and so many of these same people hadn't heard from me at all because i didn't want to call or visit because i was afraid to disturb them and their family members during such a stressful time. lots of times i was too late to call or visit. lots of times i never got to say "i love you, you know that, right?" i would have had that opportunity if we would have known about CaringBridge. lots of people roll through life blessedly unaware of these kinds of situations; unaware of how blessed they are. then, there are the people like me; people that have watched so many of their friends and co-workers and family members heroically wrestle with impossible diagnoses only to succumb in the end while we watch them, sit with them, see ourselves reflected back to us in their eyes; helpless and lost and unprepared even though we've been prepared; people like me who could have made a great and happy present of CaringBridge to our loved ones; people like me who could have written daily; who could have been better informed by reading daily posts and who could have made sure the words "i love you. you know that, right?" would have been read. before it was too late. THIS SITE IS ONE OF THE SINGULAR MOST IMPORTANT PATIENT/FAMILY RELATED TOOLS I HAVE RUN ACROSS SINCE RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE. it is a blessing and one that shouldn't be in danger of being lost. now, i get onto facebook daily and urge, encourage, plead, cajole, bully, sweet talk and say anything and everything i can think of to get people off of their dead behinds and PAY ATTENTION!! if they can pay REAL money to play VIRTUAL games on a venue such as facebook, then they have the spare greenbacks to toss a few around to CaringBridge, in my opinion. and something as easy as MICROvolunteering? c'mon!! if you're sitting there staring at a pc screen with your eyes glazed over and drool running down the corners of your mouth while you are plowing your FARMVILLE field, you can just as easily make a post on your page for people to just "take a look at this CaringBridge thing, yo!" how simple is THAT? very. how many people can that reach? infinite numbers. how important is it? one of the most important things in the world. thank you. God bless you all for your huge hearts and your wonderful imaginations which are making dire situations more palatable and pleasant and less stressful.
My dear 1st cousin was diagnosed with stage 3 grade 3 invasive carcinoma of the breast. She always believed in early detection and went every year on time for her routine mammogram. This July her journey to survive started and she has shared daily her progress, experience and feelings publicly. She has so far had over 1,000 visits and post that have inspired her and brought her courage by way of their inspiration. During her work up prior to starting chemotherapy she had a PET scan, which shows if there has been any other organs affected. During this they found a spot on her kidney which also proved to be cancer. Both were primary sites, non related to each other. Since the breast was the fastest growing type of cancer and the kidney was the slowest they decided to jump on the breast aggressively with chemo and then follow with radiation. The chemo is different for each site so the chemo for her breast will not help her kidney. She has just finished her 3rd treatment and has posted her day to day emotions,, fears, concerns, an experiences for all her friends and loved ones to see and respond. She always looks so forward to reading her guest book and has never felt such an out pouring of love from others. The post inspire an encourage her to realize she is not alone and keeps her spirits up. She thanks God everyday that Caring Bridge is available to her and gives her strength to carry on. She now believes she doesn't have a death sentence but a survivor sentence that she can carry on and help others on here going through a difficult time. Thank you Care Bridge for allowing her a place to vent her day to day recovery.